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Northwestern University

Student Inventors

Students are actively involved in inventive activity at Northwestern. They make help make inventions and discoveries both in and out of the classroom or lab.

Use these webpages for guidance on student inventorship and intellectual property.

Policy considerations

Like faculty, students at all levels and enrollment statuses are governed by Northwestern policies related to patent and invention and copyright. This means that, depending on how the discovery was made and what resources were used, student discoveries may be owned by the University.  

Determine whether a student contribution falls under Northwestern policies.

Intellectual property and ownership

Students who have not used significant Northwestern resources may be able to formalize the ownership of their invention. This requires completing the appropriate Petition to Release IP form, which releases all University rights to the student. 

Learn the procedure formalizing student ownership of an invention.

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