UO Intellectual Property Policies & Guidelines

IP Policies and Guidelines

Currently, the intellectual property policies at the University of Oregon are subject to three documents: Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 580-43OUS Internal Management Directive (IMD) 6.2, and UO Policy number 9.00.06. Due to the change in July 2014 granting UO its own independent board, many UO policies are currently in a transitional period. Obviously this is confusing, and it was already difficult to understand the policies prior to the transition, so you may feel frustrated that there are no simple answers available in some cases.   A new comprehensive policy will be completed in the next 1-2 years, but in the interim, this section of our website seeks to help you navigate how IP is managed at UO. Call us. Email us. Our office is passionate about the amazing innovations and works created at UO and we are happy to answer any of your questions.


Even when a new comprehensive policy is put in place, there are elements of how IP is handled at UO that will still require conversation and assessment by the stakeholders involved with the work.  Why?  Universities are special places.  Analysis of IP is simple at a for-profit company.  Most of the time, the company owns the works created by its employees and controls how, when, and if these works will be used.  Universities are much more complex. We value academic freedom while at the same time we take on obligations from sponsors of the research and scholarship we conduct that typically include obligations and expectations regarding IP.  As a public university we hold IP in the public trust and that means all of us need to be responsible stewards.   


As you read the three UO policy documents noted above, keep in mind that they all essentially say the same thing in different ways. Here is what all of these policies have in common:

  • making innovations developed at UO available to the community expeditiously
  • aiding the educational distribution of knowledge
  • encouraging innovation creation
  • providing guidelines for the stewardship of innovation 
  • maintaining academic freedom
  • ensuring equitable sharing of any licensing income and appropriate attribution


The university has tasked Innovation Partnership Services (IPS) with interpreting and administering these policies and procedures. Our mission is to facilitate faculty, staff, and student project goals while keeping these activities consistent with UO’s IP policies. We serve as a resource to the campus community by:

  • identifying the needs and goals of projects in order to determine the best method for managing, developing, and distributing associated intellectual property 
  • facilitating the transfer of knowledge and tools, including data and physical materials, while protecting confidentiality
  • assisting innovators in navigating and meeting federal and state compliance obligations and other applicable laws and regulations
  • enabling partnerships with private industry that are beneficial to innovators, businesses, and the community.