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Student Invention Policy

All students (including graduate, undergraduate, full-time, part-time) are governed by Northwestern University’s Copyright and Patent and Invention Policies.  It is important to be aware that every idea does not necessarily result in an invention. To further understand this distinction, please review the webpage, What is Inventorship?

Under the Patent and Invention Policy, any invention or discovery by an individual, including a student, who:

  1. Makes the invention or discovery within the normal field of his or her employment responsibility and activity with the University, without regard to location or salary source (specifically including individuals employed at affiliated hospitals and institutions); or
  2. Makes use of  significant Northwestern University Resources,

is subject to the provisions of the University Patent and Invention Policy and thus owned by the University. 

When an invention is created as a result of the use of Northwestern laboratory space or collaboration with a Northwestern faculty member, the student must work with the faculty member to submit an invention disclosure..