Brown University Intellectual Property Policies
The Corporation of Brown University approved and adopted the Brown University Patent and Invention Policy on December 13, 2019. The Policy, effective immediately, replaces the University Patent and Invention Policy approved and adopted May 30, 2005.
The Corporation approved and adopted updates to the Brown University Copyright Policy on October 16, 2020. The Policy, effective immediately, replaces the previous copyright policy, which was included in the University Patent and Invention Policy approved and adopted May 30, 2005.
The Patent and Invention Policy is here.
The Copyright Ownership and Use Policy is here.
Explanation of Revisions
Brown University’s Patent and Invention Policy (Patent Policy) was updated in 2019. The impetus for the Patent Policy update was primarily to address the following:
- Elimination of the 15% deduction prior to any distribution of royalties. The previous Patent Policy subtracted 15% from the gross proceeds of a license prior to any distribution of royalties.
- Revision of the royalty distribution formula. The royalty distribution formula apportions revenue among (1) the inventors, (2) the principal investigator’s lab and their department subject to certain caps, and (3) the university. The previous formula was an even three-way split of royalties following the 15% deduction (33% of the 85% of net royalties, or 28.33%). By eliminating the 15% deduction, the new formula increases distribution percentages, especially to inventors and their departments, as follows:
35% to the inventors
35% to the PI/Department/Dean
30% to the Office of the Provost
- Clarifying applicability of the Patent Policy to undergraduates. The Patent Policy revisions add language to clarify when Brown does not assert any ownership interest in undergraduate intellectual property. In particular, it clarifies intellectual property issues relating to industry-related capstone projects.
For questions or more details on the changes, faculty are invited to contact the Brown Technology Innovations office ([email protected]).