Intellectual Property Research Agreements Tutorial

Intellectual Property Research Agreements Tutorial

his online course is designed to assist university personnel whose work involves evaluating and drafting the intellectual property (IP) provisions of research agreements with external sponsors. It provides a broad introduction to the basics of intellectual property, plus it includes many practical, hands-on exercises using IP clauses from actual research and licensing agreements. The course also offers suggestions for dealing with issues commonly encountered in negotiating agreements with federal, state, non-profit and clinical trial sponsors of research.

This course is based on an online training course originally developed for research agreement negotiators working at the University of California. But all research universities, regardless of whether they are public or private institutions, face essentially the same intellectual property issues in research agreements.

The course is divided into three main sections:

  • Introduction to IP and Technology Transfer — The basic principles and concepts of law, policy and practice that govern the field of intellectual property management at research universities;
  • IP Clauses in Research Agreements — Applying these basic principles and concepts to invention, copyright and data clauses in research agreements, including extensive online exercises in drafting intellectual property clauses;
  • IP at Work — Practical guidelines for constructing and evaluating research agreements with different types of sponsors, plus useful review materials and resources to assist you in your daily work.

Although each Lesson of the course may be taken as a standalone unit, the course does have a learning trajectory; later Lessons build on concepts introduced in previously Lessons. Newcomers to the field will find it helpful to take the course in sequence, but it is not a requirement. Those who already have some experience negotiating research agreements may wish to consult specific sections for reference or review.

Taken in its entirety, this online course will require 15 hours or more to complete. The course will end with a final exam, and offers a downloadable certificate of completion for those who successfully pass the final, scoring 80% or higher. If you do not successfully pass the final you have the option to retake the exam during your enrollment period.


Section I: Introduction to IP and Technology Transfer
Lesson 1: Course Introduction 
Lesson 2: Introduction to IP: Patent Rights, Copyrights and Data Rights 
  • Patents
  • Copyrights
  • Data Rights
Lesson 3: Overview of University Technology Transfer: Bayh-Dole and Beyond 
  • The Bayh-Dole Act and Technology Transfer
  • Overview of University Tech Transfer
  • Guiding Principles and IP Policy
  • University Policy on Patent Assignment
Lesson 4: Negotiating Research Agreements
  • The Negotiator's Role
  • The Four-Phase Negotiation Process
Section II: IP Clauses in Research Agreements
Lesson 5: Invention Clauses in Research Agreements 
  • Title and Ownership
  • Scope of Inventions
  • License Rights
  • The License Process
Lesson 6: Copyright Clauses in Research Agreements 
  • Copyright Clauses: Inside and Outside the Box
  • Evaluating Copyright Clauses in Research Agreements
  • State Agency Contracts
Lesson 7: Data Rights Clauses in Research Agreements 
  • Data Rights Clauses: Inside and Outside the Box
  • Evaluating Problem Data Rights Clauses
  • Unique Situations: Clinical Trials, MTAs, Federal & State Contracts
Section III: IP at Work
Lesson 8: Partners, Providers and Sponsors -- The Wide World of Research Agreements 
  • Non-Profit Sponsors
  • Clinical Trial Sponsors
  • Providers of Tangible Resources
  • Government Sponsors

Lesson 9: Course Review Exercise and Additional Resources