Student Policies

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 video "Disclosing Your Invention."

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 complete an Invention Disclosure Form.

 

STUDENT PETITION TO RELEASE IP

Students who have not used significant Northwestern resources and wish to formalize the ownership of their invention should complete a “Student Petition to Release IP Form.”  Once approved, this form will release all University rights to the student.  Most students should complete Student Petition to Release IP Form A and submit it to the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO).  

However, undergraduates, Kellogg and Pritzker students who are using The Garage and do not work in a laboratory or with a research faculty member should complete Student Petition to Release IP Form B (see below). 

1.  Student Inventions

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."

Student Petition to Release IP Form A need to be signed by the student(s) involved and the Graduate Thesis Advisor, Faculty Instructor, or Department Head and sent to:

Northwestern University
Innovation and New Ventures Office

1800 Sherman Ave, Suite 504
Evanston, IL 60201
invo@northwestern.edu
Fax: 847-491-3625
Phone: 847-467-2097
Attn: Student Inventions

If granted, waiver letters will be sent to all inventors within 30 days after receipt of a completed petition.        

2. Student Work at The Garage

As stated above, undergraduates, Kellogg and Pritzker students who work at The Garage and do not work in a laboratory or with a research faculty member should 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.  

Submit your completed form to:

Northwestern University
Innovation and New Ventures Office

1800 Sherman Ave, Suite 504
Evanston, IL 60201
invo@northwestern.edu
Fax: 847-491-3625
Phone: 847-467-2097
Attn: Student Inventions

If granted, waiver letters will be sent to all inventors within 30 days after receipt of a completed petition.        

         

COURSE-WIDE/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.