The vital role played by universities in producing creative and innovative products is becoming increasingly recognized both by policy makers and by the universities themselves. Universities are now looking to tighten up their policies on intellectual property so as to maximize revenue, for instance through spin-off companies; but this arguably restricts the free flow of knowledge and scientific progress. The authors look in detail at this highly topical subject, both from a policy and a practical legal point of view, drawing upon research covering universities in the UK, Australia, and the USA. The book begins with identifying what is protectable as university intellectual property and the principal features of the various intellectual property regimes that are relevant to these questions: subject matter, criteria for protection, ownership and entitlement, rights conferred and their duration. It then turns to the creators - the academics, students, visiting scholars, and outside collaborators who have an interest in the intellectual property - and the varied collaborative circumstances in which it is created.
It evaluates differing intellectual property policies and methods of commercial exploitation and postulates certain guidelines and models that will be of assistance to universities in dealing with these issues.