This policy applies to the ownership of patents in works invented or created by Colgate students, staff, and faculty.


"Faculty" includes academic, library, and athletic faculty using university funds, facilities, or other resources. The Committee on Intellectual Property oversees these policies.

I. Disclosure

Inventions conceived or first reduced to practice using university facilities or developed under a sponsored research agreement shall be promptly disclosed in writing to the chair of the Committee on Intellectual Property . The inventors shall complete appropriate patent disclosure forms supplied for this purpose.

II. Ownership

  1. All patentable inventions conceived or first reduced to practice using university facilities or developed under a sponsored research agreement, by faculty, staff or students, as well as non-employees who participate in research projects at the university, shall belong to the university. The inventor shall assign all such inventions and any applications or patents resulting therefrom to the university. The inventor shall execute documents of assignment to convey to the university all of the employee’s interest in the invention owned by the university and shall cooperate and assist the university in all phases of the patent application process. On request, each person covered by this policy will sign an appropriate agreement to implement this policy.
  2. Abandonment. If the university cannot, or decides not to, proceed in a timely manner to patent and/or license an invention, it shall reassign ownership to the inventors upon request to the extent possible under the terms of any agreements that support or relate to the work.

III. Exceptions

Third-Party Agreements

Works created in agreement with or under the sponsorship of a third party will be governed by the agreement with the third party. The Provost and Financial Vice President & Treasurer must approve any agreement with a third party that requires the substantial use of Colgate resources.

IV. Revenues

Royalty distribution for patents owned by the university shall be as follows: All administrative and legal expenses incurred in connection with the patent will be deducted from the gross royalty income. After these deductions, the royalty income is divided 40% to the inventor, 40% to the university, and 20% to the inventor’s department.

Colgate anticipates that a portion of its proceeds will be used to support education or scientific research.

Colgate reserves the right, in consultation with the Committee on Intellectual Property, to amend and clarify these conditions.

Additional Resources