A patent protects novel ideas for useful products and methods. The UC Patent Policy (revised October 1, 1997) governs the ownership of patentable inventions at the University.
A copyright, in contrasts, protects the expression of original ideas, but not the ideas themselves. Software may contain copyrightable or patentable material, or both. If you are an author of software (including multimedia with embedded software), then please go to Software Disclosures.
Other works are also protected under copyright, including manuals, survey instruments, videos, and more. If you wish to protect one of these under copyright use the Copyrightable works form.
All inventions made by University employees must be disclosed to the University, regardless of when or where they have been made. This is a legal obligation of University employment. The form to use in this case can be found here (add in link to form). In many cases, the invention can then be assigned back to the inventor, yet under certain conditions the University may assert its right to an invention.
The University of California has official guidelines regulating faculty and academic employee consulting efforts. In short, consulting agreements between faculty or other academic employees and outside entities are personal agreements. It is the University employee's responsibility to ensure that the terms of the agreement are consistent with University employment obligations. Allowable consulting time is regulated by the University, but amount of compensation is not.
The full consulting guidelines can be found here.
If you have developed an invention in the performance of activities outside of UC Berkeley (such as under a consulting agreement with a company), and you don't want to disclose proprietary information as part of your invention disclosure to the University, then you can use the Preliminary Invention Disclosure Form.
For more about information about inventions developed under a consulting agreement, see UCOP's Consulting Policy.
Consulting relationships are often helpful in the process of marketing an invention. They help IPIRA reach the right decision makers in industry, ones that will be a good match for the IP rights. By sharing your web of research and consulting relationships in the invention disclosure process, a more effective partnership with us can be achieved.
Director, Office of Technology Licensing
2150 Shattuck Ave, Suite 510, Berkeley, CA 94720-1620