Intellectual Property at UCI


Intellectual Property Essentials

Intellectual property (IP) refers to a category of intangible property rights comprising primarily patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. The table below summarizes ownership of the various types of intellectual property at the University of California.

Intellectual Property at the University of California: Who owns what?


University employees, as a condition of employment, must disclose and assign patent rights to UC. Patent application process is administered by the Research Translation Group and the UC Office of Technology Transfer. If UC decides not to patent an invention or if the invention came from unrelated outside work, the invention may be released to the inventor. Once released to the inventor, no further work on that technology can take place in the University.


Ownership of the copyright in the work depends on the conditions and funding of the particular work. If classified as a "Work for Hire" or part of a sponsored research, the copyright belongs to UC. If the work results from other intellectual activity ,the copyright will generally belong to the individual. Administration of UC-owned copyrights is carried out by the UCI's Research Translation Group.

Trade Secrets

UCI generally does not assert rights to the "know-how" or a trade secret held by the faculty. UCI occasionally may maintain, transfer and/or receive confidential information under secrecy agreements. UCI, however, does not generally license know-how or trade secrets.


Some trademark matters, such as trademark registration, are administered by UCI's Research Translation Group.