Intellectual property (IP) is typically defined as any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others. Intellectual property created by NAU faculty, staff, and students are assets of the University and State of Arizona representing the fruits of valuable investments and research efforts.
Under Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) Policy 6-908, which governs intellectual property developed at all three state universities, NAU has an obligation and responsibility to manage these assets in the best interest of the State and for the benefit of all Arizonans.
Protecting NAU’s intellectual property
There are several different ways the university legally protects its intellectual property:
- If you’re collaborating with researchers at other institutions, you may need to execute a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) to protect any materials you’re transferring to your collaborators, such as biological materials, chemical compounds, devices, prototypes, or software. Learn more on the Material transfer page.
- One of the first steps in protecting your innovation or discovery is submitting an invention disclosure to NAU Innovations—even if you’re unsure whether the idea is patentable or you’re uncertain about its potential for commercialization. Learn more on the Disclosing your inventions page.
- If your innovation involves computer hardware, NAU Innovations may recommend protecting it through a copyright. Learn more on the Software and copyrights page.
- As an NAU inventor, patenting your technology is the final step in protecting intellectual property. A patent grants the right to the patent holder to exclude others from making, selling, or using the patented invention. Learn more on the Patents page.