GSAS students conducting research at Harvard and/or who may create intellectual property through the use of Harvard resources are subject to certain University policies and, in some cases, to the terms of agreements between Harvard and third parties (e.g., other institutions, organizations, or companies). Such policies cover, for example, the ethical conduct of research, publication of research results, retention of research records, and handling of intellectual property. This includes the University’s Statement of Policy in Regard to Intellectual Property (or “IP Policy”), which governs patentable inventions, copyrightable works, and tangible materials made through the use of funds, facilities, or other resources provided by or through Harvard.
Students are expected to notify and disclose to the Office of Technology Development (OTD) through a Report of Innovation (ROI) any invention made in connection with their University work as soon as possible or, at minimum, several weeks before they defend their dissertation, present at a conference or seminar, submit for publication, or make another public disclosure. When communicating with OTD, students should include the date of their defense or other expected disclosure of the invention and should clearly identify and describe the invention in the ROI. They also may need to discuss their work with OTD and/or outside patent counsel.
See OTD resources and The Inventor’s Handbook, a guide to intellectual property and technology development for Harvard faculty and researchers, for more information about patents, marketing, and royalties.
If required, students should access and sign the Harvard University Participation Agreement, which is designed to help carry out the IP Policy and other research policies, additionally enabling Harvard to fulfill its responsibilities relating to research.