A patent protects novel ideas for useful products and methods. The UC Patent Policy governs the University’s ownership of patentable inventions.
A copyright, in contrasts, protects the expression of original ideas, but not the ideas themselves. Software may contain copyrightable source code, patentable algorithms, or both. If you are an author of software (including multimedia with embedded software), then please read about Software Disclosures to the right.
Other works are also protected under copyright, including manuals, survey instruments, videos, and more. If you want to protect one of these under copyright use the Copyrightable works form.
All inventions made by UC employees must be disclosed to the University, regardless of when or where they are invented. This is a legal obligation of University employment. The form to use in this case can be found by clicking either of the buttons to the right. In many cases, the invention can then be assigned back to the inventor; however, under certain conditions the University may assert its ownership right to an invention.
UC’s official guidelines regulating faculty and academic employee consulting can be found here. Consulting agreements with outside entities are personal agreements. Therefore, it’s the University employee's responsibility to ensure that the terms of the agreement (including intellectual property rights) are consistent with University employment obligations.
If you developed an invention in the performance of activities outside of the University (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 Invention Disclaimer Request Form.
For information regarding the Berkeley Software Distribution license (BSD), click here.