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Abstract

Intellectual property is increasingly important due to technology’s rapid development. The importance of intellectual property is also reflected within universities as traditional centers of research and expression, where students and faculty are encouraged to develop inventions and creative works throughout the educational experience. The commercialization potential of the intellectual property that emerges from these efforts has led many universities to adopt policies to determine ownership of intellectual property rights. Many of these policies take different approaches to ownership, and most students are unaware of their rights and are unlikely to consider whether the university has a claim to ownership. The purpose of this Article is to outline how intellectual property rights arise in the academic environment and to analyze how university policies determine ownership rights for students and the university. This Article concludes by urging universities and students to acknowledge the existence of these issues, adopt policies to address ownership rights, and make these policies known to members of the university community.

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