Policy Guides

This section provides key points to policies and procedures applicable to spinoffs at the University of Alberta.

Patent Policy Key Points:

  • The university uses an “inventor-owned” policy -meaning that the inventor owns newly created IP and may choose to assign the IP to the university or retain the IP independently through a spin-off company 
  • Newly created Patentable Intellectual Property (PIP) must be disclosed in a timely manner to the university
  • The university is entitled to a portion of PIP revenues created with university resources. The portion of royalty revenue allocated to the university varies between one third and two thirds of net revenue, depending on the inventor’s choice of technology assignment and following the Distribution of Royalty Revenue Policy
  • The university may have commercialization responsibilities for the technology if it is assigned rights to the technology by the inventor
  • The university is entitled to non-exclusive licensing rights for the technology 

Commercialization of Patentable Intellectual Property Procedure Key Points:

  • Inventor may choose one of two paths to commercialization: assign PIP ownership and commercialization responsibilities to the inventor, or the university (the university may choose not to accept PIP ownership)
  • Existing or outstanding contractual or assignment obligations to third parties must be upheld in the commercialization process
  • The commercialization party must remit to the other party the agreed share of net income annually
  • Commercialization by either the inventor or the university must take place with approval of the other party

Conflict Policy--Conflict of Interest and Commitment and Institutional Conflict Key Points:

  • The policy applies to staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students
  • A person engaging in an activity or a situation that involves either existing (actual or perceived) or potential (actual or perceived) conflict shall report the conflict so that it may be assessed and, where appropriate, managed in accordance with the associated procedures
  • Potential conflict includes financial interest associated with ownership in a privately held company
  • Identified conflicts and potential conflicts are to be managed using the Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Reporting and Assessment Procedure

Declaring Best Interests of Inventor Section 10 Variation of Patent Policy Procedure Key Points:

  • The Principle Investigator (PI) may provide the university with a Declaration of Interests of Principal Investigator to inform agreements that the university may enter related to the license of the PIP with 3rd parties 
  • The PI’s completion of the declaration of best interests form is voluntary and not mandatory
  • This procedure does not apply to technical service agreements

Copyright Regulations Key Points:

  • There is no policy requirement for copyrighted materials to be reported to the university
  • There are no revenue-sharing policies in place regarding copyright at the university 
  • The university follows federal copyright guidelines (the Copyright Act) which enshrine the creator as owner of the copyright
  • The university is recognized as a copyright owner and may be granted non-exclusive rights to the use of the copyright, if the creator is a staff member who has created the work as a part of their employment or a student who has created the work as a part of their coursework/research

Distribution of Royalty Revenue Policy Key Points:

Licensing fees or revenue royalties allocated to the university shall be distributed:

  • Two thirds to the Vice-President (Research) 
  • One third divided among the inventor’s Faculty, Department, and laboratory, as determined by the Dean of the Faculty