Student Intellectual Property Guidelines


The University of Alabama is committed to providing students a learning environment that supports the dissemination of knowledge. Intellectual property, e.g., inventions and creative works, conceived by UA students as a part of their education may have commercial value that will benefit the public, thus warranting patent or copyright protection. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide administrative guidance on the ownership of the intellectual property created by UA students.

Creative Works¬†– “Creative Works” shall include any copyrightable material, such as printed material, computer software or databases, audio and visual material, circuit diagrams, architectural and engineering drawings, lectures, musical or dramatic compositions, choreographic works, and pictorial or graphic works.

Inventions¬†– “Inventions” shall include any discovery, process, composition of matter, article of manufacture, know-how, design, model, technological development, biological material, strain, variety, culture of any organism, or portion, modification, translation of these items, and any mark used in connection with these items.

Ownership of Intellectual Property:

Full-Time, Part-Time, and Visiting Students

Students who are not considered University employees shall retain all right, title, and interest in Creative Works and Inventions conceived or first reduced to practice without significant university support. University support shall include the use of university funds, personnel, facilities, equipment, materials, or technological information, and includes such support provided by other public or private organizations when it is arranged, administered, or controlled by the university.

Student Employees

Students who are University employees are obligated under the university policies and procedures pertaining to patents as delineated in the Faculty Handbook, Appendix G, The University of Alabama Patent Policy. ¬†University student employees shall include, but are not limited to, Graduate Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants, and Graduate Teaching Assistants, including undergraduate students. Ownership of Creative Works and Inventions derived from activities directly related to a student’s employment at UA shall belong to the university.