kerala university

IP Policy8 Pre-amble: The emergence of knowledge as the major fuel of development requires us to reposition our University to ensure that the University uses the great potential of traditional knowledge and human resources of Kerala to further its social and economic development. The University needs to gear up to face the new developments and approaches to intellectual property, so that the intellectual property is ploughed back into the society which funds us for the generation of the same, without any exploitation.

The Kerala University Ordinances, 1978, Section XIV provides for patents as follows:
  • Patents : It shall be competent for the Syndicate to take out patents in respect of anydiscovery or invention made by the teachers or research students working in the University.
  • Right to be in joint name : The patent shall be taken in the joint names of the University and the person responsible for the discovery or invention.
  • Expenses of registration : The expenses in connection with the registration of patents shall be borne by the University.
  • Sharing of profits : Any profit accruing from the patent shall be shared equally between the University and the person responsible for the invention or discovery.
  • Exploitation of patents : The person responsible for the invention or discovery shall render free service to the University in connection with the exploitation of the patent. The terms on which patents may be offered for exploitation shall be determined solely by the Syndicate.

In addition to patents, the University also needs to spell out clearly its stand on copyrights which may apply to a wide range of creative, intellectual, scientific, or artistic forms, or "works", all of which are relevant to a University. Intellectual property which are copyrightable include poems, theses, plays, other literary works, movies, dances, musical compositions, audio recordings, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, software, radio and television and broadcasts, which are all increasingly generated by the University of Kerala. In addition, other IPR such as registered designs, trademarks and service marks rights in and to confidential information and database rights also need to be managed. Therefore:

  • The University of Kerala recognizes the importance of generation of intellectual property by teachers and students and it shall do all that is within its powers and obligations to encourage increased creativity and innovation which will lead to generation of IP.
  • As a public institution funded by the public money, the University of Kerala attaches prime importance to disseminate the knowledge it generates to the people, both locally and internationally.
  • In case of a decision to patent an invention, the University of Kerala does not consider it as going against the principle of free knowledge dissemination, as the University would be able to, under social control; reinvest any share of returns from the licensing of the patent to further the case of IP generation and knowledge dissemination.
  • The University of Kerala would encourage its teachers and students to take considered decision on a case by case basis to decide upon the use of the intellectual properties generated by the university. In case of inventions, this will involve a major discussion by the student and/or the teacher – “to publish or patent”. In the case of publication, every effort should be made by the student and the teacher to consider an open access publication, provided other scholarly considerations are not compromised. This will ensure that results of public funded research are freely accessible to the public, without any barriers.
  • The University of Kerala recognizes the need to educate and empower its teachers and students to encourage them to generate and manage IP as per the policies of the University.

To implement the above policy objectives, the University shall take following steps: The types of intellectual property to be considered by the University; Patents, Utility models, Industrial designs, Geographical indications, Trade and service marks, New plant varieties, Trade secrets, Copyright in literary works including dramatic, musical and artistic works and in any sound and visual recordings.

  1. Promote constant awareness about IP: (i) Conduct IP Clinics (ii) Give free single window processing service to inventors in the University. (iii) Give training on IP management and ensure inclusion of IP management in the syllabi of all subjects of P.G, MPhil and Research Methodology paper of course work, as far as possible.
  2. University level decision on patenting shall be made liberal to encourage every kind of new ideas so that inventers are not inhibited in putting up a proposal for patenting. A subject level committee shall be formed with the following membership to make recommendation to the syndicate on patenting. (i) One internal expert. (ii) One external expert. (iii) Director of Research (Convener). (iv)Inventors (Invitees). The internal experts and external experts shall be from a panel approved by the Vice-chancellor. On recommendation of this committee, with the approval of the Vice Chancellor, the convener shall communicate the consent of the University to the inventor(s) to proceed with the patent processing, subject to ratification of the syndicate. The process in the University related to filing a patent will be completed within two months from the date of submission of receiving the application in the University. Expenses if any for filing patents approved by the above committee can be met from DDF of the concerned Department/Centre without further sanction or separate budgetary head for IP cell activity and patent filing.
  3. As a means of encouraging generation of intellectual property, in addition to the share of profits due to the inventor (as provided in Kerala University Ordinances, 1978, Section XIV), the University shall also consider using its own share to extend better facilities for the inventor in the department where inventors work.
  4. The University shall consider appropriately rewarding persons who receive patents, to promote innovations in the form of better research facility and University research grants.
  5. Participation Agreement: As a means of enforcing an intellectual property policy, University will develop and adopt a participation agreement. The agreement shall confirm acceptance of the policy by employees and researcher engaged and assigns University all rights in any intellectual property of which the University affirm ownership.
  6. The University of Kerala shall deploy an open access institutional repository of scholarly work produced by its teachers and students.
  7. On copyrights, steps shall be taken to ensure that all contracts that the University enters into, and also on all activities that involve copyrights, written undertaking shall be obtained from the concerned parties regarding ownership of copyrights as follows:
    • Copyrights of all works produced under explicit instruction from the University shall vest with the University. (This shall include reports, scholarly works, question papers, statistics, data bases etc.)
    • Scholarly works independently produced as a part of the academic profession, without explicit instruction from the University and also without remuneration being received from the University, shall not be under this copy right of the University, unless explicitly agreed to otherwise in writing.
    • It shall be the responsibility of the authors of all academic content produced for the University (like course content for IDE) to ensure that no copyright infringement is committed. Contracts with the authors should explicitly make authors liable for infringement, if any.

(Source: Policies and Charters of University of Kerala, IQAC 2016)