Ownership

Whilst there is a number of situations in which you will either create or contribute to the creation of IP, you may not necessarily own the IP in question.

In most cases, if an employee creates IP during the course of their employment, their employer will own the IP. This is unless anything has been agreed to the contrary. University employees will usually include professors, readers, lecturers, technicians, research staff, support staff and administrators. If you are working within an NHS Trust, it may not always be clear whether a nurse or doctor who creates IP has done so in the course of their employment, particularly if their main role is that of a patient carer. It is becoming increasingly common for NHS employment contracts to refer specifically to IP. Always check what is relevant.

If you are a student, you will not normally be classed as an employee unless, in addition to your being registered as a student, you also have a contract of employment with your university/institution e.g. as a research assistant.

You will however have a student contract which you should check.

In certain instances, particularly within NHS Trusts, an individual may be a part-time employee or jointly appointed with an external organisation. There may be honorary contracts in place. The IP arrangements should always be checked.