Memo: BU Intellectual Property Policy and Agreement



Boston University’s recently revised Intellectual Property Policy, effective July 1, 2017, provides guidance for the management of intellectual property (IP) at BU, allowing members of the research community to make informed decisions about IP and technology transfer. In compliance with federal regulations, we will be prompting all faculty, all staff, and any students involved in BU research to agree to the University’s IP Agreement. You can expect to receive this email notification tomorrow, June 4, from an online system called PolicyTech.


As a community of scholars, researchers, and creators, BU is committed to creating a free and open environment that cultivates new ideas. Our Intellectual Property Policy protects the interests of the Boston University community as well as the interests of the University itself, which supports this scholarship, research, and creative work.

The 2017 policy reflects important revisions to prior patent policies, which had not been revisited since 1991 and 2000 on the Charles River Campus and Medical Campus respectively. The policy affirms the standard across higher education, that intellectual property created by faculty, staff, and students working on University research is owned by the University when created within the scope of University employment or when drawing on significant University resources. It also recognizes specific freedoms that BU honors, including that academic works, such as books and articles, lectures, visual materials, and other teaching materials, are owned by the faculty author.

The IP Policy was developed by BU’s Research and Scholarly Activities Committee, vetted by University Council, and approved by the President. The IP Agreement, written in conjunction with the new policy, replaces previous patent policy forms, covers all forms of intellectual property, and applies to both the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus.

Action Required

Tomorrow (June 4), you will receive an email from a vendor called Navex PolicyTech asking you to “sign” the Intellectual Property Agreement associated with the 2017 Intellectual Property Policy. The email will ask you to log into PolicyTech’s cloud-based system using your Kerberos username and password. Once logged in, you’ll be prompted to read the policy and complete the task of agreeing to the IP Agreement.


The process is being facilitated by Compliance Services and Technology Development. For more information and frequently asked questions, please visit the Research Support site.

Thank you for your participation in this important process.


Visit the IP Policy and Agreement page for frequently asked questions and more.

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