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'Sole patent ownership to innovator if invented without institute support'

Sole patent ownership to innovator if invented without institute support

New Delhi: In a significant move, the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has made it mandatory for academic bodies to share patent rights with a researcher.

As per the AICTE's new policy National Innovation and Start-Up policy for Students and Faculty of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), the AICTE has made it clear that in case the facilities of the institution have not been used by the researcher for their innovations, the researcher would get sole patent right of the research.

In case, the facilities of the institutions have been availed by the researchers for the research work, the institutions would be the custodian of the patent right for any particular research.

The policy by the technical education regulator has been developed for the first time and is aimed at facilitating the ministry in bringing uniformity across HEIs in terms of intellectual property ownership management, technology licensing and institutional startup policy. The policy has been prepared in following the Intellectual Property Right (IPR) norms.

Seen as an inventor-friendly policy, it also entitles students/researchers/ faculty members to sole ownership of patent rights if the product is developed without using any of institution's facilities and funds and work has been conducted outside work hours. In case of a dispute, a five-member panel will take a final call on the patent ownership.

"When institute's facilities or funds are used substantially or when a product or technology is developed as a part of a curriculum or an academic activity, IPR is to be jointly owned by the inventor and the institute. They could together license the product or IPR to any commercial organisation, with inventors having the primary say," the policy said. "However, an institute may not be allowed to hold any equity as per the current statute, so SPV may be requested to hold equity on their behalf," it added.

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