Managing Risk

Clients may ask you to give them all the IP which you create as part of doing the work. As consultancy should really be about advice all they usually need is a licence to use the IP. In fact, if you produce your reports in a common format, by giving them the IP you could be giving them the format of your report, which in itself would stop you using it again. If they need more then maybe what you are discussing is a research contract rather than a consultancy assignment. If you are asked to give warranties in relation to the IP be very cautious. You should do no more than say that you have not copied the work. Inform UMIP and seek advice from IP lawyers over any IP issues that arise.


You can generate valuable IP during consultancy assignments, but this is not routinely the case and it can create problems of ownership. If you anticipate that the consultancy will generate new knowledge, then you should consider whether it would be more appropriate to carry out such work as research collaboration or as a development contract. As a general guideline, a consultancy assignment will use existing IP or expertise to solve a problem, design a system or process or to provide an expert opinion on a situation but not create new IP except for copyright in the report. Such assignments carried out by employees of the University will usually be short term and non-intensive; probably a number of days over a few months.

It is important to maintain contact with UMIP and ensure that any IP being created is properly registered and protected. This IP can form the basis of future income.