As an institution geared towards teaching and research, it is expected that the University’s research output will contribute to development in all sectors of the economy. It, therefore, became necessary that an Intellectual Property Policy (IPP) be put in place to promote the creation and commercialisation of Intellectual Property and take care of conflicting interests that may arise from the generation and commercialisation of Intellectual Property.
The goals of the IPP are to:
The objectives of the IPP are to:
The Intellectual Property Policy addresses the following areas:
The rights of both the University and the creators of Intellectual Property regarding the creation and ownership of IP shall be governed by the provisions of this policy and all other relevant University statues and regulations as well as all relevant local, state and federal laws being in force in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This policy covers all matters that concern the protection of rights of Intellectual Property arising from teaching, research, consultancy,and development related activities or commercial interests of the University. The parties and assets covered are as follows:
Without prejudice to the laws governing IP in Nigeria, or the general concept, definition and operation of IP assets and rights, this policy covers all types of IP, including but not limited to patents, copyrights, trademark, industrial design, plants and animal breeders’ rights, trade secret, databases, geographical indications, utility model and knowhow.
One of the objectives of this policy is to provide a moral and legal framework that confers ownership of Intellectual Property to all stakeholders involved in the creation of such assets. It is therefore important to define guidelines on how to handle various issues related to Intellectual Property ownership in the University.
The agreement referred to in item (ii) above must have been countersigned by the IPTTO. If a dispute arises between the student and his supervisors as to whether the student should be party to such agreement(s), the IPTTO shall intervene to resolve the dispute. In reaching a resolution of the dispute, the University shall ensure that the student does not suffer any prejudice in all aspect of his life in the University.
The IPTTO shall draft standard forms, agreements and/or other documents as may become necessary to regulate the relationship between the University and individual or groups covered by this policy. Such documents may include but are not limited to the following:
The disclosure of research activities with IP Potentials shall be in accordance with the following steps:
Without prejudice to the University rules and regulations, all provisions concerning conflicts of interest in this policy refer specifically to Intellectual Property.
Individuals and groups covered by this policy must submit a written report prior to undertaking any commitment that may conflict or appear to conflict with their primary commitment to the University. This disclosure is not intended to place specific restrictions on outside commitments but only to indicate where a report must be made to avoid conflict of interests. Disclosure by a written report is the best preventive measure to avoid any real or apparent conflict between the primary obligations of the staff and any other competing commitment. Disclosure is a continuing obligation and must therefore be updated if conflict of interest arises when an on-going relationship with an outside party changes.
Commitments Requiring Review and Written Approval
A specific case of conflict of interest may arise from a member of staff’s relationship with an outside party that transacts business with the University. Such relationships might influence the conduct of University business with the third party or the conduct of research within the University. A conflict of interest may arise when individuals and groups covered by this policy have special relationships as consultants, advisers, owners or shareholders in an outside organization undertaking business with the University. Individuals and groups covered by this policy must disclose to the University such relationships prior to the University’s going into contract with the third party.
Commitments that Involve the Use of University Facilities or Resources
A report should be made whenever the University subsidises an outside commitment by investing its resources and thus sharing in the risk of the business. This is irrespective of any financial benefit that may accrue to the University.
Commitments that Support an Outside Party’s Claim to an Intellectual Property
Individuals and groups covered by this policy must report any relationship they are contemplating or are undertaking with an outside party which intends to provide support to the outside party’s claim to an IP.
The conflict of interest shall be declared in a form designated for that purpose by the IPTTO.
Unless otherwise stated or agreed between the parties, all costs associated with the protection of the University’sIntellectual Property shall be borne by the University.
Except in cases where the rights of the University are assigned to the researcher(s)/creator(s), all rights to IP that the researcher(s)/creator(s) wish to commercialize shall be assigned by the researcher(s)/creator(s) to the University within thirty (30) days of completion of the commercialisation plan. Except for moral rights where they exist, which shall remain with the researcher(s)/creator(s), the University shall then become the sole owner of all rights to the IP.
The IP Board of the University has the final say over commercialisation of any IP. Therefore, notwithstanding other provisions in this policy, a decision made by the IP Board not to initiate commercialisation or to terminate on-going commercialisation process shall be final and shall not be subject to further appeals.
The University may assign its right to commercialise the IP assets to the researcher(s)/creator(s) in the following cases:
Whenever right to commercialize an IP are assigned by the University to the researcher(s)/creator(s) under this policy, the University may execute any document reasonably required for the purpose of protecting and commercialising the IP.
Revenues accruing from the commercialisation of an IP in the form of royalties and/or equity holdings shall be distributed in such a manner as to achieve three objectives: the creation of more Intellectual Property in the University, the conversion of IPs into useful technologies and the transfer of technology from the University to the public. The revenue to be distributed shall be the net revenue after accounting for all expenses incurred in the course of protecting and commercialising the IP.
All monetary proceeds from commercialisation of IP assets shall be distributed as contained in this policy unless legal requirements or contractual agreements require otherwise.
Allocation of Gross Income
Allocation of Net Income
The funds in this item (ii) shall be used for research only and shall not be allocated to any individual for personal use.
The management, protection and commercial development of Intellectual Properties in the University requires the necessary framework for the implementation of this policy and the provision of legal safeguards for the protection of IP rights of the University and other parties. To this end, the University shall have in place the following:
The University shall have an Intellectual Property Board with the following members:
The representatives of the Senate and Congregation shall have a tenure of two years which could be renewed once by the bodies they represent.
The Board shall have the power to set up committees or panels consisting of its members to carry out its responsibilities.
The Vice-Chancellor shall have the power to appoint ad hoc members to the board, where a clear need exists for such members on the board.
Duties of the Board
The responsibilities of the IP Board shall be to:
Responsibilities of the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office
An Office known as Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) shall be created to be responsible for the management of protection and commercialisation of Intellectual Property of the University. The office shall be responsible for the following:
Units of the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office
The IPTTO shall have four units each to be headed by a manager. Assistant managers and other supporting staff may be appointed for the units as may become necessary. These units are:
Officers of the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office
There shall be officers appointed by the Vice–Chancellor to manage the IPTTO. The officers shall serve for a tenure of two years which will be renewable once for another two years. The officers shall be as follows:
The Director shall be responsible for:
The Deputy-Director shall assist the director in the discharge of his responsibilities.
The Legal and Compliance Manager shall be responsible for:
The Operation Manager shall be responsible for:
The Business Development Manager shall be responsible for:
The finance manager shall be responsible for;
Secretary of the IPTTO
The University Registrar shall deploy a staff to serve as Secretary of the IPTTO. The Secretary shall:
The Registrar shall deploy to the IPTTO secretarial staff, office assistant(s) and other administrative staff as may be requested by the Director of IPTTO.
Commercialisation Officers of Schools and Centres
In liaison with the Deans/Directors of Schools/Centres, the Director of IPTTO shall recommend to the Vice-Chancellor, academic staff of Schools and Centres to be appointed as IP Commercialisation Officers of Schools and Centres. There shall be one such officer for each School and each Centre whose tenure shall be two years and renewable for another two years. No School/Centre’s Commercialisation Officer shall serve for more than four years.
Disputes may arise at the various stages of protecting and commercialising an IP and it is the responsibility of the University to ensure that such disputes are resolved amicably for the good of the University, the public and the parties concerned. Where an amicable resolution of a dispute is not achieved, the matter shall be referred to the IP Dispute Resolution Panel.
The IP Dispute Resolution Panel shall have the following members:
A party that is not satisfied with the decision of the panel may appeal to the IP Board of the University and, if still not satisfied, has a further right of appeal to University Council. The decision of the Council shall be final and binding upon all the parties.
The University’sIntellectual Property Board shall have the powers to amend any error or inconsistency observed in this document insofar as such amendments do not amount to policy changes. Policy changes shall be addressed by reviews (See section 8.5).
This Policy may be reviewed at intervals not exceeding five years in order to take account of new legal, policy and institutional developments.
The Vice-Chancellor shall set up a committee to review the policy. The committee shall be headed by a Professor and membership of the committee shall include the Director of IPTTO, Director of DRID, Director of Legal Unit, at least two (2) members of the Senate, and any other representation as deemed fit by the Vice-Chancellor.
Breach of the provisions of this policy shall amount to misconduct and shall be dealt with under the normal disciplinary procedures of the University for both staff and students.
The provisions of this Intellectual Property Policy are based on existing Intellectual Property Policies of several Universities as well as the guidelines and models from WIPO and NOTAP. The following IP Policies and documents were taken into account to significant degree during the development of this IP Policy.