Intellectual Property

An important objective of UC Berkeley is to promote the wide dissemination of new ideas to the general public. Faculty, students, and staff having questions about their rights and responsibilities with regard to intellectual property should contact the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL).

Patents: A patent protects novel ideas for useful products and methods. The UC Patent Policy governs the ownership of patentable inventions at UC Berkeley. The policy:

  • Encourages the practical application of UC Berkeley research for the broad public benefit;
  • Appraises and determines relative rights and equities of all parties concerned;
  • Facilitates patent applications, licensing, and the equitable distribution of royalties, if any; and
  • Provides a uniform procedure in patent matters when the University has a right or equity.

Copyrights: A copyright protects the expression of original ideas, but not the ideas themselves. UC Copyright Policy addresses ownership of copyright and applies to University employees, students, and other persons or entities using University facilities or acting under contract with the University for commissioned works. Policy addressing ownership or access to the underlying research results or data is covered in the Academic Personnel Manual, Section 020, University Regulation 4. If the application of the UC Patent Policy and the UC Copyright Policy gives rise to a conflict, the ownership principles of the patent policy apply.

Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials: Faculty and staff of UC Berkeley may wish to use photocopied materials in the classroom and for research. The Office of the President has developed guidelines on the reproduction of copyrighted materials for teaching and research to determine whether copying is within the "fair use" doctrine. If the copying is not within the guidelines, permission should be obtained from the copyright owner before any copies are made. If it is unclear whether copying would require such permission, guidance should be requested from the Office of the General Counsel.