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Policy on Patents and Copyrights

Sign the Patent and Copyright Agreement for Personnel at Stanford (referred to as the SU-18 Agreement) on Axess after August 19 and then enroll in courses. (Please note that due to federal regulations international students will not be able to enroll until after they arrive at Stanford.) Stanford’s policies on intellectual property can be found at the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research web site, Research Policy Handbook, Chapter 9: Intellectual Property.

All graduate students (as well as all faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars and visitors engaged in research) must sign the Stanford University Patent and Copyright Agreement before enrolling in classes. Use Axess to sign this agreement. You do this only once at Stanford, regardless of changes in academic plans or status.

Wait until August 20 before attempting to sign the agreement and then enroll in classes. (Before that date you may not yet be set up in Stanford’s electronic system as a member of the Stanford community.) Go to Axess  and select the “Academics” tab to see the link to Stanford’s Patent and Copyright Agreement in the “Academics” menu. Open that agreement, click on the button at the bottom of the page, and then print a copy for your own records. (See How to Enroll in Courses for the next step you should take.)

In general, this agreement requires you to disclose and assign ownership of patentable inventions to Stanford if those inventions are created in the course of your University work, or with more than incidental use of University resources. By policy, Stanford does not claim copyrights to traditional academic or scholarly materials. Stanford may have a copyright interest under limited circumstances such as: works-for-hire or works created subject to a contractual agreement; where the work is supported by a direct allocation of funds or is commissioned by the University; or if the work made use of significant University resources or personnel

Generally, the University does not claim ownership of books, articles, and similar works, the intended purpose of which is to disseminate the results of academic research or scholarly study. Such works include those created by students in the course of their education such as dissertations, papers, and articles. Similarly, the University claims no ownership of popular nonfiction, novels, poems, musical compositions, unpatentable software, or other works of artistic imagination which are not institutional works and did not make significant use of University personnel and resources.

These policies are intended to prevent possible conflicts of interest involving the use of Stanford resources. University resources, including personnel, laboratory facilities and specialized equipment, should not be used for anything other than University academic and research activities. Consistent with the best interests of the University, Stanford promotes the licensing of inventions and other technologies, and will share any royalties with the inventor/creator.