Specifically for Students

Ownership of Student Intellectual Property and Coursework

For the most part, students own the intellectual property they generate in the course of their studies at RIT. There are a few exceptions to this such as:

  • when a student is already the employee of an organization and as part of their employment contract, their employer may own any intellectual property they generate;
  • if the student was paid by RIT to produce the work in question, as part of RIT employment or through grant or contract funding secured through RIT, then that intellectual property would be owned by RIT;
  • the student and RIT entered in an agreement defining ownership of student intellectual property as not the student’s. Such an agreement would need to have been entered into before any work started. This is done in certain cases where there is a corporate sponsor of student class projects. For such cases the student needs to be aware what rights they have to use the intellectual property they generate as part of the sponsored project.

Use of Student Intellectual Property and Coursework

RIT cannot use student owned intellectual property without first obtaining permission from the student other than, of course, reviewing and providing feedback and marking assignments the student submits as part of course and other project work.

Students as Creators of RIT Intellectual Property

There are situations where intellectual property developed by a student would be owned by RIT. This would occur if you were paid by RIT to perform certain work and were the inventor or author of a creative work that came from that paid work. You as the inventor or author of RIT owned intellectual property would be covered by the RIT Intellectual Property Policy in such cases. This means that RIT would make a first determination whether to file for patent protection and seek to commercialize your creation. If so, RIT would bear the costs of filing a patent application and marketing the technology. You would be expected to assist RIT in providing necessary information to document your creation and to file the necessary patent application forms. In return, you would share in any licensing revenues RIT receives from the commercialization of your creation.

RIT IP Policy for the current royalty-sharing arrangement

RIT Intellectual Property Policy

Use of RIT Computer Network

For acceptable uses of the RIT computer network please see the RIT Code of Conduct for Computer Use.

File-Sharing and Downloading Music, Video and Other Files from the Internet

Some instances of file-sharing and downloading from the internet are permitted and others are not. See the RIT Code of Conduct for Computer Use for details.

RIT Venture Creations

For general information about RIT’s Venture Creations and general questions on the start-up of a company please contact Johan Klarin, Director, Venture Creations Incubator at 475-7720.

General Legal Questions

RIT provides the services of an attorney to answer students’ questions. Please check with the Student Government Office for information on when the attorney is on campus.

For More Information

Contact Wayne Plourde, Director for Intellectual Property and Management Office at 585-475-2986.