Intellectual Property – Not just for Creatives

Wednesday 12-04-2017 - 09:00
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What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property (IP) is a term used to describe legal rights that can exist in ideas and works generated or created by individuals. These rights can have value and may be exploited for commercial and other purposes. It is likely that during the course of your studies or research programmes you will create work in which intellectual property rights arise. IP is about more than just plagiarism/copyright and rights that can be enforced against you, it’s about the ability to protect your work and creations now and in the future.

IP isnt just important for students who study creative arts and computers, it matters to all students who have ideas or do research that could potentially be exploited on a commercial basis. Everything you do has potential value and it is important that students understand the importance of protecting their work and also understanding regulations and policies that are applicable.

A recent report discovered that students wanted more targeted IP teaching that was relevant to their courses. 

Who owns my work?

IP can exist in all sorts of work created by students anything from course work, learning logs, fine art and even exam answers. Protection extends to work such as digital graphics, sound and even photography. During your time at University you may create something novel and new, you can check if the rights belong to you or are shared with the University or some other party. 

In order to foster the creativity of its students Leeds Beckett University makes no claim on Intellectual Property generated by undergraduate students. But in some cases, mainly where a student worked collaboratively with either a tutor or a third party outside of the University it may be reasonable for an equity share to be negotiated. If a student is involved in a project funded by external sources, e.g. industry or grant, then the student may be required, under the terms of the third party agreement, to formally assign any Intellectual Property Rights they may create.

You may want to seek advice before signing any agreement, you can email the Advice Service at

For post graduates where the University pays for the student activity the University owns the Intellectual Property rights the same principles apply to a fully funded PhD or Mres. Any cases where a supervisor has given substantial input may lead to a discussion on a negotiated share.

Where should I go for help?

The Students' Union Advice Service can provide you with information on Leeds Beckett Intellectual Property Policy and help you with any issues you have.

A more detailed explanation of intellectual property rights that might arise may be found here.



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