Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India, has recently released draft model guidelines on implementation of IPR policy for academic institutions.

The draft describes as to how academic institutions can formulate legal relationships with scholars, researchers and young innovators regarding patents, copyrights, trademarks and industrial designs, to promote student-led startups and ventures to protect and respect intellectual property.

As per the draft, wherever inventions are developed using resources of the academic institutions, the ownership of patents shall rest with the institutions. The same will also hold true for industrial designs, semiconductor integrated circuits and plant variety. The draft also notes that ownership rights in all trademarks involving the academic institution shall ordinarily be vested with the academic institution.

However, according to the draft, copyrights in scholarly and academic works generated utilising resources of the academic institution, shall ordinarily be vested with the author.

The draft proposes that to promote student led startups and ventures, the academic institution may grant certain rights by way of licensing agreement for commercialization to young scholars and innovators.

It recommends that the academic institution should try to use the mechanism of licensing, so that ownership rights on the IP may be retained without hindering the prospects of commercialisation.

The 23 page draft, while further talking about sharing of costs with regard to IP protection, waiver of IP rights by the academic institution, dealing with IP rights owned by third parties, confidentiality, data protection and privacy, also proposes setting up of an IP cell in academic institutions and specifies the structure for the constitution of the same.