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14 June 2016

Intellectual Property Report

Canadian universities and the private sector are partnering at unprecedented rates – the majority of those with graduate programs report some degree of involvement with this trend.

It is an opportunity leveraging research discoveries and commercialize successes as well as create environments for research that push innovation and creativity. It can be lucrative and prestigious. But for whom?

How do universities protect the intellectual property of the researchers who are involved in this work? What processes are in place for protecting the rights of graduate students and post docs who create or co-create the intellectual property?

Those were the type of questions raised at a session on intellectual property during the CAGS 2014 conference in St. John’s. That session featured Professor Matthew Herder, an associate professor at the Health Law Institute, Dalhousie University. As that session concluded, it was obvious that intellectual property issues are on the radar for many CAGS members. That’s why we asked Professor Herder and post-doctoral fellow Kelly Holloway to follow-up with a paper outlining their views on intellectual property.

“The research world has changed enormously since Banting and Best commercialized a product invented at a university,” says CAGS President and Dean of Graduate Studies at Queen’s University, Brenda Brouwer. “What was then considered a fringe activity is now an important economic and intellectual driver for many institutions. And with that comes a host of considerations and in some cases new challenges.”

The report addresses one aspect of this trend.

“It highlights some pragmatic considerations about whether current policies sufficiently extend to graduate students and post-docs,” says Herder. “We wanted to stimulate some discussions around the place of emerging researchers in this rapidly-changing world of university research.”

The 46-page report includes a review of current literature, case law and analysis of policy and procedures at 17 Canadian universities. Comments are welcome to info@cags.ca

The full report can be found here. (Note that this is a third party publication and third party publications are posted in the language in which they are received.)