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IP Intellectual Property Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose of Policy

(1) This Policy presents the definitions, principles and practices for the ownership and management of IP by UOW.

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Section 2 - Application and Scope

(2) This Policy applies to all staff, students and affiliates of the University.

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Section 3 - Policy Principles

(3) The University operating under the University of Wollongong Act 1989 is committed to identifying, protecting, managing and developing intellectual property for the benefit of staff, students, affiliates, and the community.

(4) The University is committed to engaging in the further development of IP by:

  1. collaborating internally and externally to generate new knowledge through an outstanding research environment and an innovative teaching curriculum;
  2. encouraging staff, students and affiliates to develop innovative ideas, works, and inventions with material real-world impact;
  3. promoting mutually beneficial interactions, exchanges and transfers of knowledge to the external community; and
  4. encouraging the practical application of IP in the community including commercial uses.

(5) In accordance with the University’s commitment, this Policy and associated policies aim to facilitate:

  1. mutual respect and collegiality, ethical practice and accountability;
  2. fair and equitable distribution of proceeds of successful commercialisation of IP;
  3. commitment of returns to support further research and teaching;
  4. maximum beneficial impact on industry and the community through effective partnership and the transfer of knowledge;
  5. respect for confidentiality; and
  6. efficient and economical administration.

(6) This Policy and associated Policies aim to be consistent with the National Principles of Intellectual Property Management for Publicly Funded Research.

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Section 4 - IP Created by Staff

(7) The University owns IP created by staff in the course of or incidental to their employment with UOW, or created using UOW resources, whether or not the staff member’s express duties include a duty to develop IP, including:

  1. IP in administration material and assessment material;
  2. IP created as a result of any research activity;
  3. IP created under agreements between UOW and third parties; and
  4. except as otherwise stated in this section or specified in a separate agreement between Staff and the University.

(8) Staff own their Scholarly Material IP, Creative Material IP, and Teaching Material IP created in the course of their employment unless the University has specially commissioned the creation of the material, in which case, the University owns the IP.

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Section 5 - IP Created by Affiliates

(9) The University owns IP created by affiliates in the course of their affiliation with UOW or created using UOW resources, including:

  1. IP in administration material and assessment material;
  2. IP created as a result of any research activity; and
  3. IP created under agreements between UOW and third parties;
  4. except as otherwise stated in this section or specified in a separate agreement between the Affiliate (or the Affiliate’s employer) and the University.

(10) To give effect to clause 9, the University may request as a condition of an affiliate’s participation in any teaching, research, or other activity, that the affiliate (or the affiliate’s employer) enters into an agreement with the University  addressing IP ownership, licensing and use terms prior to commencement of that affiliate’s participation.

(11) Upon request by the University, affiliates will execute in a timely manner all agreements and documentation reasonably necessary to give effect to the IP ownership, licensing and use provisions of this Policy.

(12) Affiliates own their Scholarly Material IP, Creative Material IP, and Teaching Material IP created in the course of their affiliation with the University unless the University has specially commissioned the creation of the material, in which case, the University owns the IP.

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Section 6 - Staff and Affiliates Bringing Pre-existing IP to UOW

(13) The University does not assert ownership over pre-existing IP.

(14) Staff and affiliates who bring pre-existing IP to the University to be used in the course of their duties or otherwise, must comply with the notification and disclosure requirements set out in section 12.

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Section 7 - IP Created by Students

(15) Students own the IP created in their capacity as a student during the course of their enrolment at UOW except as otherwise provided in this Policy or specified in a separate agreement between the student and the University.

(16) The University owns IP created by students when they participate in an activity that:

  1. builds upon pre-existing University IP; or
  2. is carried out for or in conjunction with third parties who have entered into an agreement with the University; or
  3. is intended to be commercialised by or on behalf of the University; or
  4. is intended to support University commercial activities.

(17) To give effect to clause 16, the University will request as a condition of a student’s participation in a relevant activity, or enrolment in a course of study, that the student assigns their IP rights to the University or agrees to other restrictions prior to commencement of the student’s participation or enrolment.

(18) Where a student creates IP in their capacity as a staff member, section 4 of this Policy will apply to IP created by the student, in place of this section.

(19) Where a student creates IP in their capacity as an affiliate, section 5 of this Policy will apply to IP created by the student in place of this section.

(20) Despite clause 17, a student will retain ownership of the copyright subsisting in their thesis, and their Scholarly Material IP and Creative Material IP unless otherwise specified in a separate agreement between the student and the University.

(21) Where a student is requested to enter into legal agreements under clause 17, the student’s supervisor or the person in charge of the activity or course of study will:

  1. provide the reason for the request and the conditional nature of the participation;
  2. advise the student to obtain their own independent legal advice;
  3. provide a reasonable timeframe to obtain such independent legal advice; and
  4. ensure the student does not commence until all required agreements are executed.

(22) The University reserves the right to prevent a student from participating in an activity or course of study where the student chooses not to enter into required legal agreements under clause 17. The student and the student’s supervisor or the person in charge of the relevant activity or course of study will, without prejudice, attempt to develop an alternative activity or course of study for the Student.

(23) A student who does not assign IP to the University upon request will, subject to clause 24, not be prejudiced in submitting a thesis for examination, and/or being able to complete the requirements for the award of a degree.

(24) Confidentiality requirements may require UOW to:

  1. embargo some or all of a student’s report, publications, or thesis from public release; or
  2. require external examiners to enter into a confidentiality agreement prior to accessing a student’s work.
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Section 8 - IP Licensing and Usage

(25) The use, development and licensing of University owned IP for the purposes of consulting, commercial research and commercialisation is governed by the Commercial Research Policy.

(26) Staff and affiliates grant to the university a non-exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide licence to use, reproduce, adapt, communicate, broadcast, perform, disseminate, exploit, sub-license and modify their Teaching Material IP for the purposes of the University. This licence is subject to any restrictions on the use of third-party IP where UOW is notified in accordance with clause 40.

(27) Staff and affiliates may request a non-exclusive, non-transferrable, revokable, royalty-free licence to use UOW-owned IP for their own research and teaching purposes after their employment or affiliation with the University has ended.

(28) The University will make best efforts to grant a licence under clause 27 subject to any restrictions specified in agreements between the University and third parties.

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Section 9 - Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property

(29) The University respects and recognises the ICIP rights of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and those of First Nations people throughout the world.

(30) Staff, students, and affiliates will comply with ICIP laws, protocols, standards, policies, and guidelines.

(31) Staff, students, and affiliates will respect Indigenous cultural protocols on sacred and secret knowledge.

(32) Staff, students, and affiliates will follow consultation protocols and obtain consent from Relevant Indigenous Peoples prior to accessing, sampling, recording, or otherwise using ICIP.

(33) The Univresity will take all reasonable steps to negotiate with Relevant Indigenous Peoples benefit sharing arrangements (monetary and non-monetary), IP ownership, and commercialisation rights for IP developed by the University and derived from ICIP.

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Section 10 - Rights

(34) The University (without limiting other rights UOW may have) has the right to:

  1. identify, protect, manage, utilise, commercialise, and otherwise exploit IP to support its strategic direction and aims;
  2. benefit from a financial interest in IP where it has been developed at UOW or has made use of UOW resources;
  3. receive revenue from research commercialisation and distribute an appropriate portion of the returns to creators;
  4. request that creators execute IP assignment and other legal agreements necessary to facilitate research and teaching activities;
  5. restrict the participation of staff, students or affiliates in research, teaching, and educational activities with UOW where the person does not enter into required legal agreements; and
  6. prevent unauthorised use of UOW Resources or misrepresentations of UOW endorsement.

(35) The above rights are subject to the University’s obligations to staff, students or affiliates and other persons set out at law, in an agreement, or under this or any other University policies and procedures.

(36) Staff, students or affiliates who are creators of University owned IP have the right to:

  1. receive a portion of the revenue from research commercialisation in accordance with UOW policy documents;
  2. if they are staff or affiliates, negotiate for reasonable use of IP owned by UOW in accordance with clause 32; and
  3. seek independent legal advice prior to executing, at the Univeresity’s request, any agreements relating to IP and be provided with reasonable timeframes to seek such advice.
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Section 11 - Moral Rights

(37) The University recognises creators’ Moral Rights in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968.

(38) The University will use its reasonable efforts to respect and promote the moral rights of creators.

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Section 12 - Notification and Protection

(39) Staff, students or affiliates will notify the University in a timely manner where new IP or improvements to pre-existing IP are created and the University has:

  1. a claim of ownership in the relevant IP either full or partial; or
  2. a contractual obligation with a third-party requiring notification of creation of new IP or improvement of pre-existing IP

(40) Staff, students or affiliates will notify the University in a timely manner where IP sought to be used by the University is owned by third parties, either in full or in part.

(41) Staff and affiliates will notify the University in a timely manner of any pre-existing IP being brought to UOW for use in teaching, research (including commercial research), scholarship, or commercialisation purposes, and in each case, the staff or affiliate will be required to provide evidence of the ownership or rights to use such IP.

(42) Staff, students or affiliates must protect the University’s interests in relation to UOW-owned IP and will comply with University requirements for management of IP including:

  1. ensuring that there is no public disclosure of IP via any means including publication, conference talks, press releases, or social media for such time as is required to adequately protect the IP. This may include delaying publications to allow time to obtain appropriate IP protection;
  2. disclosing to the University any other IP that may affect protection of the IP;
  3. assisting, as requested by the University, in the IP protection process;
  4. assisting the University to identify all possible creators of the IP; and
  5. not dealing with or acting inconsistently with the University’s rights in IP owned by it.

(43) Staff developing and improving IP will comply with the Records Management Policy for their record keeping of IP-related activities.

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Section 13 - Open Access IP

(44) The University may offer its UOW-owned IP under a royalty-free licence to facilitate the usage and further development of the IP by industry and the community for economic and social good and to promote knowledge sharing and transfer, where such licence is permitted under any arrangements with third parties.

(45) In providing IP under a royalty-free licence, the University recognises that:

  1. IP has inherent value;
  2. not all IP has a significant strategic or commercialisation value to the university; and
  3. the University has limited resources to pursue protection and commercialisation of IP.

(46) In all cases where a royalty-free licence of UOW-owned IP is considered under clause 44, UOW will seek to negotiate the specific terms of the applicable licence with the expected licensee prior to any IP transfer.

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Section 14 - Roles and Responsibilities

(47) The Executive Assistant to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Sustainable Futures) is responsible for providing direction on the application of this Policy in relation to research activities.

(48) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Life) and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Innovation, Enterprise and External Relations) are responsible for providing direction on the application of this Policy in relation to teaching activities.

(49) Executive Deans, Executive Directors, and Associate Deans are responsible for supporting the application of this Policy in relation to the consulting, commercial research, and commercialisation activities within their Faculty or Institute.

(50) The Research and Sustainable Futures communicates, implements, and supports the application of this Policy within the University in conjunction with Faculties and other support units.

(51) The Innovation and Commercial Research Unit Manages all IP arising from research activities that has strategic or commercial value to UOW.

(52) Staff, Student, and Affiliates are responsible for understanding and applying this Policy to their activities under which IP may be created.

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Section 15 - Amendment

(53) This Policy may be amended at any time in accordance with the Policy Management Policy. In each case:

  1. all IP developed on or after an effective date of such amendment shall be governed by the Policy as amended; and
  2. all IP developed prior to the effective date of an amendment shall be governed by the Policy prior to such amendment.
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Section 16 - Disputes

(54) Any person who has concerns about the manner in which this Policy is interpreted or applied must notify and provide all relevant details to:

  1. Innovation and Commercial Research Unit; and
  2. the Complaints Management Centre.

(55) After notification of a dispute, UOW may retain an appropriate adviser or direct the dispute to appropriate areas of the University to better inform itself about the dispute and its subject matter.

(56) The Innovation and Commercial Research Unit or Complaints Management Centre will attempt to resolve the dispute through informal mechanisms or alternative dispute resolution, including but not limited to mediation.

(57) If the matter remains unresolved after informal mechanisms or alternative dispute resolution has been attempted, the Senior Manager, complaints will refer the matter to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Sustainable Futures) or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Life) or Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, as appropriate to the context of the dispute.

(58) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Sustainable Futures) or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Life) or Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, as appropriate, may, by negotiation with the other party or parties in dispute, appoint an appropriate independent expert to determine the dispute. Following receipt of the expert assessment, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Sustainable Futures) or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Life) or Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, as appropriate, will communicate the outcome to all affected parties,

(59) If any party involved in a dispute is dissatisfied with the outcome, the person may advise the Vice-Chancellor and President in writing. The final response of the Vice-Chancellor and President to the written notice of dispute will conclude the matter.

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Section 17 - Breaches of Policy

(60) Any breach of this Policy by staff member may be considered a breach of the University Code of Conduct and may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with UOW’s processes for addressing staff conduct issues, including the relevant Enterprise Agreement.

(61) Any breach of the Policy by a student may be considered a breach of the Student Conduct Rules and may be subject to disciplinary action.

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Section 18 - Definitions

Word/Term Definition (with examples if required)

Affiliates
Includes people holding University of Wollongong Honorary Awards as conferred by the University Council, including awards of Emeritus Professor, Honorary Doctor and University Fellow; people appointed in accordance with the University’s Appointment of Visiting and Honorary Academics Policy; people engaged by the University as agency staff, contractors, volunteers, visiting students, and work experience students.

Administration material
Includes documentation, materials, processes, software developed for the purposes of UOW administration, including policies, procedures, guidelines, business plans and processes, legal documents, funding applications, reports, promotional and marketing materials, subject outlines, course outlines, course descriptions, and course handbook content.

Assessment material
Includes assessment task descriptions, test scripts, quizzes, assessment marking criteria, assessment rubrics, student assessment work including exam answer papers that are developed for the purposes of planning, execution and marking of graded activity to foster learning and help staff and students to gauge levels of achievement.


Commercial research
Research conducted under commercial agreements with other organisations such as government departments and agencies, non-government organisations, industry, and as a part of the University’s participation in other research centres (e.g. Cooperative Research Centres).

It does not include research conducted under Australian and International competitive grants schemes including Australian Research Council, National Health and Medical Research Council, grants registered on the Australian Competitive Grants Register or other grant schemes.
Creative material IP Original copyright material that is artistic in character, including paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, prose works (fiction and non-fiction), poetry, music, films, photographs, sound recordings, broadcasts, and dramatic works.
Creators Persons who produce, invent, design, enhance, generate, discover, make, originate or otherwise bring into existence Intellectual Property.
Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) Indigenous peoples’ tangible and intangible cultural heritage as reflected in article 31 of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It includes: Indigenous Cultural Expression; Indigenous Biological Resources; and Indigenous Knowledge.
Indigenous cultural expression Tangible and intangible forms in which Indigenous knowledge and cultures are expressed, communicated or manifested. This includes but is not limited to: languages; art; stories; photographs, paintings, music, oral histories, games and films that express the collective heritage of the Indigenous clan or community from which it comes.
Indigenous biological resources Genetic resources, organisms, flora, fauna, and seeds used and nurtured by Indigenous people throughout the generations.
Indigenous Knowledge Understandings, beliefs, and traditions that have been transmitted from generation to generation and has cultural connections to the Indigenous community from which it came.

Includes knowledge held by Indigenous people about how to cultivate biological resources, control populations, or otherwise engage in environmental management.

Intellectual Property (IP)
The property of the mind or proprietary knowledge, i.e. productive new ideas. This includes know how, registered and unregistered trade marks, copyright, patents, trade/business or company names, registered and registrable design rights, plant breeder’s rights, circuit layouts and trade secrets, and all other intellectual property as defined by Article 2 of the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organisation, July 1967.

Moral rights
Has the meaning given in the Copyright Act 1968. An author’s right to: be identified as the author of a work; act against false attribution; object to derogatory treatment of their work.



Relevant Indigenous Peoples
Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and in other countries the First Nation people, who are the custodians or who have authority to provide Free, Prior, Informed Consent for the use of ICIP and/or can negotiate IP ownership and benefit sharing arrangements.

“Relevant” in this definition requires recognition and identification of the appropriate Indigenous Authority, being the decision-maker or decision-making entity that has cultural authority for the use or treatment of specific ICIP or IP. This may involve consultation with the local Aboriginal Land Council and/or individual Indigenous Knowledge holders, Indigenous organisations, Elders groups, and Traditional Owners groups.

Scholarly Material IP
The copyright in any material intended for academic publication produced by Staff, Students, and Affiliates based on their scholarship, learning or research, but does not include work that is a computer program.
Staff All persons employed by the University including conjoint appointments, whether on continuing, permanent, fixed term, casual or cadet or traineeship basis.
Student A person registered for a course at the University of Wollongong.



Teaching Material IP
The IP in all material created by Staff members and Affiliates and used in teaching at UOW, whether the Staff member or Affiliate created such material before, during or outside of their UOW employment or affiliation. Examples include:
  1. lecture notes, tutorial and workshop materials;
  2. computer-generated or projector presentations: e.g. PowerPoint slides;
  3. photographs, images, sound recordings, video recordings, musical scores;
  4. related content made available in subject or course websites or learning platforms.
  5. Teaching Material IP does not include the IP in:
  6. Administration Material and Assessment Material;
  7. material created as a result of a research activity; or
  8. material created under the terms of any agreement between the University and a third party.
University (UOW) University of Wollongong

UOW resources
Includes UOW IP, laboratories, facilities that UOW owns or has right of access to, funds, services, equipment, computer laboratories, media equipment, consumables, chemicals, staff time and other University provided services.