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Northwestern University

Releasing Intellectual Property

Students who have not used significant Northwestern resources and wish to formalize the ownership of their invention should complete a release form. Once approved, this form will release all University rights to the student. 

Most students will use the Student Petition to Release IP Form A; this procedure is listed below. However undergraduates, Kellogg and Pritzker students who are using The Garage and do not work in a laboratory or with a research faculty member will complete Student Petition to Release IP Form B. Jump to the procedure for these students.

General release of  University rights to student inventions

  1. Complete the Student Petition to Release IP Form A and submit it to the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO).  
  2. INVO will review a Petition Form A and generally release the University’s rights in the invention to the student inventor. Exceptions to granting the release may arise when one or more of the following conditions apply to a particular invention:  
    • It is conceived or developed with substantial or essential contributions from the University, such as funds, materials, or lab facilities;
    • It is developed in the course of or pursuant to a sponsored research agreement;
    • It is developed in collaboration with faculty members not responsible for teaching the class;
    • It is subject to another agreement the University has executed with a third party; or
    • It is created as a "work made for hire.
  3. If granted, waiver letters will be sent to all inventors within 30 days after receipt of a completed petition.

Release of University rights to student work at The Garage

  1. Complete Student Petition to Release IP Form B.  Form B needs to be signed by the student(s) involved and the Executive Director of The Garage.  
  2. INVO will review a Petition Form B. 
  3. If granted, waiver letters will be sent to all inventors within 30 days after receipt of a completed petition.        

Course and program-wide waivers

In some cases, course-wide and/or program-wide waivers can be implemented.  The Course or Program Director should work directly with the Executive Director of INVO and submit petitions signed by all of the students enrolled in the course or program. 

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