Who Owns Student-Created Intellectual Property?


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Very interesting and intellectually stimulating debate. For UDUAK LAW FIRM Blog student readers, assume you are in school and let’s take you come up with a great fashion/film/music concept. If your professor gives you feedback and works with you to ultimately launch your concept so it becomes tangible, does your professor co-own your intellectual property (IP) rights? What about your school? Can and should your school lay claim to your IP rights because it provided the resources for you to get your creation off the ground? This is what is at issue below and I find it very very interesting. Read below.

When teens select a college, they have historically considered factors like the school’s cost, academic programs, location and climate. Now it seems they should consider whether a school will claim an ownership right if the students create a new invention while attending the school. That’s what happened to University of Missouri student Tony Brown, after he and three fellow students created NearBuy, an iPhone application intended to help track local apartment rentals.

According to Yahoo News, the university initially demanded 25 percent ownership and two-thirds of the profits from the app, which has been downloaded more than 250,000 times. The university has since revised its policy to state that it will not claim an ownership interest in inventions created for school contests, by extracurricular clubs, or as the result of an individual’s initiative. However, if a student invention was created under a professor’s supervision or with the use of school resources or grant money, then the school can assert the same ownership right as it does for faculty inventions.

Legal Blog Watch has the full story.

Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her firm’s fashion and entertainment law practice areas. Ms. Uduak has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts. She has also handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients including network television and licensing deals. Her work and contributions to the creative industry has been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA: ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also the author of Fashionentlaw™ and also has over two decades combined hands on industry experience in the creative industry which includes modeling, retail, fashion production, public relations, digital media, journalism and publishing. For further inquiries or if you are seeking legal representation, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). You may also follow her on twitter at @uduaklaw

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