The Boston College Intellectual Property Policy applies fully to graduate and undergraduate students, and also incorporates concepts that are unique to them. The goal of these concepts is to encourage student innovation and entrepreneurship while adhering to the University’s obligations undertaken in its research agreements.

Per the Policy, students will generally own patentable inventions and other intellectual property produced during coursework or in designated makerspaces, unless (all capitalized terms are defined in the Policy):

  • the Invention was an improvement of an Invention in which the University holds the intellectual property rights;
  • a University faculty member or other University employee was a co-Inventor of the Invention;
  • “Substantial Resources” were used to develop or reduce the Invention to practice; or
  • the development of the Invention was supported, in whole or in part, by a sponsored project agreement (i.e., a project funding agreement) or other agreement under which a third party may have rights in the Intellectual Property.

Boston College will always work to make sure students are aware when they are working on a University-owned invention, or if Substantial Resources are being used, or if a sponsored project agreement applies. Any questions? Talk to OTTL.

Any student engaging in University or independent research with questions about this Policy, or otherwise, should contact OTTL. The office exists to support students in their research just as it supports faculty and staff.

Students should also be aware, as they engage in University research or collaborate with faculty members, that they may be asked to sign the University’s Intellectual Property Agreement. Any questions regarding this agreement, its terms, and implications, can be directed to OTTL.