In addition to our faculty, many of our students are also involved in creating new Intellectual Property. Undergraduate and graduate students who have created Intellectual Property (IP) will work with us to determine who owns the Intellectual Property. The student will work with us to disclose the creation or invention. Once the Intellectual Property is disclosed, we're here to guide students throughout the ownership determination process and the entire commercialization process if the IP is owned by the University.

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IP Process


  • When do I own my IP?

    Work created by students during the course of their usual studies or education is owned by those students. This includes anything created during an ordinary class – essays, presentations, prototypes, computer programs etc. – or with commonly available University resources, such as library materials, classroom and study space, laboratory computers, etc.

    Students who own their Intellectual Property (IP) are not required to disclose such work to the University.

    The Innovation Floor at Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science is a commonly available resource, meaning students own the Intellectual Property in work created on the Innovation Floor unless that work is part of a research agreement.

  • When does the University own my IP?

    The University owns Intellectual Property created by the student when there is a signed agreement or Substantial University Assistance.

    There are instances when a student will sign an agreement with the University to waive Intellectual Property rights for a particular project. An example is a sponsored research agreement.

    Substantial University Assistance means the use of University funds, resources, or facilities beyond the normal support provided to students. This is mainly a financial consideration beyond normal means and more than traditional work-study or financial aid. This also includes access beyond normal to University resources, such as additional laboratory or technical training, supervision by University staff, or heightened access to University holdings or other resources generally unavailable to students, faculty, staff or the general public. More examples can be found on page 4 of the Intellectual Property Policy Manual.

    For more information, please reference the Intellectual Property Policy Manual.

  • Who owns IP in a senior design project?

    Senior design is considered class work: student creations in a senior design project will belong to the student, not to the University. However, industry partners in the senior design program may have an agreement to own Intellectual Property resulting from their sponsorship. Your supervising faculty should be able to tell you if such an agreement exists.

IP Manual

The University of Denver Intellectual Property Policy Manual governs Intellectual Property (IP) made or created by University faculty, students, staff, and others participating in University research programs, including visiting researchers.

The goals of the Policy are to:

  • Facilitate and celebrate innovation within the University community
  • Enhance the University's reputation and visibility
  • Contribute to the public good through economic development

Questions regarding the Policy may be directed to the Office.

Read the Manual

Innovation Floor

The University of Denver and Project X-ITE present the Innovation Floor at Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science. It is a space where all faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to visit, learn, and explore their creative side. Prior to gaining access to the equipment and other resources in the Innovation Floor space, all users must read and sign the Innovation Floor User Agreement and the attached General Policies and Procedures.