Intellectual Property

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines Intellectual property (IP) as creations of the mind. Those are inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.

In the university context, it encapsulates ideas, knowledge and information produced during research projects, class projects, consultancies, collaborations and other knowledge generating activities. So IP is not limited to discoveries and inventions. It is also innovations, expertise, designs, literary and other artistic works, software, even phrases.


Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Although intellectual property is intangible, it is recognised as personal property that can be sold and traded like other forms of property. The concept of intellectual property usually covers specific rights (IPR) relating to:

IPR protect inventors and creators, allowing them to benefit professionally, financially and otherwise from their creations.


IP Policy

The UWI Policy on Intellectual Property Management and Commercialisation sets out the principles governing the intellectual property created by staff and students, the rights and responsibilities of those involved and the administrative arrangements for the management of intellectual property in the University.

Download The UWI IP Policy


IP Disclosure: Let’s talk confidentially about your idea

If you are a UWI staff member or UWI student and you think you are on to something new, the first step is to contact us for a confidential consultation. The IP manager may then advise you to submit your idea through a disclosure form to start the IP disclosure process. You can download the disclosure form to read what’s required.

At UWI, St Augustine, the IP disclosure process is managed with strict confidentiality by STACIE. To maintain this, you should speak to our IP Manager before sending us any confidential and proprietary information.

Talk to us before you publish

If you publish details of your invention, you cannot later obtain a patent for that invention. Public disclosure includes:

  • publication in a journal
  • presentation at a conference
  • posting details on the internet
  • PhD seminars and theses
  • poster presentations

Working with partners outside UWI? We’ll tell you when you need an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) or MTA (material transfer agreement). And if you’re developing IP with external collaborators, talk to us about research collaboration agreements.

It’s never too early to talk to us about your idea. But it can be too late.

Get in touch


Licensing your IP

STACIE can help you  increase the societal impact of your work by transferring it to industry and the wider society through licensing. A commonly used tool for knowledge transfer and research commercialisation, a license is a type of legal agreement that allows  the IP owner to permit another entity to use their IP.

Licenses don’t only apply to patents

While licenses are most commonly applied to patents, other types of IP can be licensed. The list includes copyright, knowledge, expertise, or confidential know-how, research reagents and materials, databases, designs and trademarks.

Licenses aren’t limited to commercial use

IP can be licensed for research, academic purposes or for use by non-profit entities. Licenses in this instance may generate little or no revenue. But they will help to track the uptake and application of the IP and its impact in society.


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