VCU Intellectual Property Policy

Policy Statement and Purpose

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to supporting its employees (including faculty) and students in their new discoveries, creation of original works of authorship and art, and the application and dissemination of those discoveries and works to benefit the public. This policy defines the ownership, distribution, and commercialization of rights associated with intellectual property developed at the university. The purpose of this policy is to:

  • Support the discovery of new knowledge
  • Foster creative expression and innovation at the university
  • Provide a framework for ownership of rights in intellectual property developed at the university or through the use of university resources that respects both individual rights and the university’s reasonable interests
  • Protect the integrity of the research emanating from the university
  • Facilitate appropriate commercial development of intellectual property owned by the university
  • Encourage and support research and teaching activities of employees (including faculty) and students.

Noncompliance with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. VCU supports an environment free from retaliation. Retaliation against any employee who brings forth a good faith concern, asks a clarifying question, or participates in an investigation is prohibited.


University Ownership of Inventions


The university owns all right, title and interest in and to inventions developed by any person through significant use of university resources, and by its employees acting within the scope of their employment. Pursuant to this policy and as a condition of accepting employment with the university or using significant university resources, employees as well as non-employees who develop inventions, are required to assign and are deemed to assign to the university all of their rights, title and interest in and to inventions developed within the scope of their employment or through the significant use of university resources. Employees and those using significant university resources must also agree to memorialize this assignment by executing any and all documents deemed necessary by the university to perfect the university’s ownership rights in the inventions.

However, the university’s ownership of these rights does not mean the university solely benefits from commercialization of inventions. To the contrary, the university shares revenues with inventors as set forth in the university’s royalty-sharing formula ... Whether use of university resources is “significant” is determined by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. University parties or students with questions or concerns about whether their use of university resources might be deemed “significant” are expected to contact the Division of Technology Commercialization and Economic Development in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation for guidance in advance

Please familiarize yourself with the entire policy here