Intellectual Property Policy
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Intellectual Property Policy for IIT Bombay
The vision of IIT Bombay is “to be the fountainhead of new ideas and of
innovators in technology and science” and its mission is “to create an
ambience in which new ideas, research and scholarship flourish and from
which the leaders and innovators of tomorrow emerge”. In fulfillment of
its vision and mission, IITB has taken the initiative to promote
innovations and to facilitate protection of Intellectual Property (IP)
thus generated at IITB. Consequently, the protection of inventions and
other creative works of its faculty, other employees and students as IP
has been growing.
Processes to support these efforts have been evolving over time and now
have attained a level of maturity. A formal Framework to guide the
implementation of these processes is now a clearly-felt need. Towards this
goal an Intellectual Property Policy for IIT Bombay has been formulated.
This policy aims to lay down, the processes for promotion and support
available to innovators at IIT Bombay for translating their creative works
into IP. Parties engaged in creations of original and innovative work at
IITB include faculty, staff and other employees of IITB, including staff
working on various projects, registered students of IITB, students from
other institutions, personnel from other organisations or any other
individuals working in IITB. This policy also aims to set forth guidelines
for ownership of IP developed at IIT Bombay by IITB personnel and non-IITB
personnel and its commercialization.
The aim of the IP Policy is to sustain and grow creativity in an ethical
environment in IIT Bombay that recognizes the importance of innovations
and assists in translating them into products, processes and services for
commercial exploitation and to achieve the widest public good.
The Role of IRCC in IP Protection:
The Industrial Research and Consultancy Centre (IRCC) at IIT Bombay
provides guidance, support and resources to all IITB personnel and
facilitates protection and deployment of intellectual property. In
achieving this goal, IRCC creates awareness of the importance and role of
IP Rights, implements the IP policy, ensures transparency and fairness of
the IP policy to encourage compliance, solicits feedback regarding the
fulfillment of the IP policy and periodically reviews the Policy to
improve upon any shortcomings, strengthens the infrastructure and
resources for protection and exploitation of IP and makes available expert
Issues of ownership, confidentiality, disclosure, patentability,
technology transfer, revenue sharing, and conflict of interest among
others play a very important role in any IP management. IRCC conducts
workshops to enhance awareness on related issues. IRCC also provides
templates and guidelines for the contracts, agreements and MOUs governing
the effective exploitation of the IP produced by IITB. All such agreements
and matters relating to confidentiality, infringements, damages,
liabilities and compliance are administered by IRCC.
The IP Policy:
This policy is applicable to all IITB personnel, as well as non-IITB
personnel associated with any activity of IITB such as, but not limited
to, Continuing Education Programme and covers different classes of
Intellectual Property -- Patent, Copyright, Trade Mark / Service Mark,
Design Registration, Trade Secret, Confidential Information and Integrated
I(a) Invention(s), Designs, Integrated Circuit Layouts and other creative
Invention(s) including software, designs and integrated circuit layouts,
created by IITB personnel without the use of significant IITB resources
and not connected with the profession for which employed at IITB, shall be
owned by the creator(s).
For invention(s) including software, designs and integrated circuit
layouts, produced during the course of sponsored and/or collaborative
activity, specific provisions related to IP made in contracts governing
the collaborative activity shall determine the ownership of IP.
IITB shall be the owner of all invention(s) including software, designs
and integrated circuit layouts created by teams of IITB and non-IITB
personnel, associated with any activity of IITB. Non-IITB personnel, who
create invention(s) including software, designs or integrated circuit
layouts at IITB but without intellectual contribution of IITB personnel or
significant use of IITB resources, shall be the owner of such invention(s).
Except as stipulated above, IITB shall be the owner of all invention(s)
including software, designs and integrated circuit layouts created at
I(b) Copyrightable Work:
Ownership of copyright of all copyrightable work shall rest with the
author(s) with the following exceptions:
- If the work is produced during the course of sponsored and/or
collaborative activity, specific provisions related to IP made in
contracts governing such activity shall determine the ownership of IP.
- IITB shall be the owner of the copyright of work, including
software, created by IITB personnel with significant use of IITB
- IITB shall be the owner of the copyright on all teaching material
developed by IITB personnel as part of any of the academic programs at
IITB. However, the authors shall have the right to use the material in
her/his professional capacity. As the traditional exception, IITB shall
not claim ownership of copyright on books and publications authored by
- IITB shall be the owner of copyright of work produced by non IITB
personnel associated with any activity of IITB with the intellectual
contribution of IITB personnel. However, the authors shall have the
right to use the material in her/his professional capacity.
I(c) Trade Mark(s) / Service Mark(s):
Ownership of trade mark(s) / service mark(s) created for IITB shall be
In cases of all IP produced at IITB, IITB shall retain a non-exclusive,
free, irrevocable license to copy/use IP for teaching and research
activities, consistent with confidentiality agreements where entered into
(II) Disclosures, Confidentiality and Assignment of Rights:
For sponsored and/or collaborative work the provisions of the contract
pertaining to disclosure of creative work are applied.
For all other invention(s) produced at IITB, if the inventor(s) wish to
protect the invention(s) they produce, then they are required to disclose
the creative work to the IRCC at the earliest date using an Invention
Disclosure form (IDF).
Disclosure is a critical part of the IP protection process and it formally
documents claims of inventorship, the date of the invention and other
details of the invention. The inventor(s) shall assign the rights of the
disclosed invention to IITB.
All IITB personnel and non-IITB personnel associated with any activity of
IITB shall treat all IP related information which has been disclosed to
the IRCC and/or whose rights are assigned to IITB, or whose rights rest
with IITB personnel, as confidential. Such confidentiality shall be
maintained till the date as demanded by the relevant contract, if any,
between the concerned parties unless such knowledge is in the public
domain or is generally available to the public.
(III) Assessment of Innovation(s) for Protection:
To facilitate assessment, an IP Assessment Committee (IPAC) shall be
formed by the Dean (R&D) consisting of a chairperson, the IRCC Technical
Officer (Secretary) and at least three additional faculty members with
domain expertise or familiarity/experience in areas related to the
creative work. The creator(s) would be free to suggest names of faculty
who are qualified to evaluate the creative work who may be invited by the
Dean (R&D) to be a part of the IPAC.
The IPAC shall assess the disclosure in a timely manner and shall make
recommendations to the Dean (R&D) about the patentability of the invention
according to the provisions of Section (I) of this policy. The IPAC may
make one of the following recommendations:
- that IITB shall take the responsibility of protection of the IP, in
which case, IITB will initiate appropriate processes.
- that IITB shall not take the responsibility of protection of the IP,
in which case, the rights to the disclosed invention shall be promptly
reassigned to the creator(s). The creator(s) may then choose to protect
the creative work on their own.
Filings of IP Applications in foreign countries: Within six months of
filing the Complete IP Application in India, IITB shall, based on
available information decide on the suitability of protection of the
invention in foreign countries. If IITB opts not to undertake such
protection in any specific country requested by the inventor(s), IITB
shall assign rights of the IP in that country to the creator(s) for the
purpose of such protection.
Renewal of IP Rights: A decision on the annual renewal of IP rights will
be taken by a committee constituted by the Dean (R&D). If IITB decides not
to renew the IPR in any country, then it will assign the rights of the IP
in that country to the creator(s) upon a request to that affect from the
creator(s). In case of patents, the process of reassignment will be
completed in a period of three months before the due date for its renewal.
In all cases where IP rights in any specific country have been reassigned
to the inventor(s), IITB shall not claim any share of proceeds earned
through that IP in that country excepting for the costs already incurred
(IVA) Contracts and Agreements:
All agreement including but not limited to the following categories,
undertaken by any IITB personnel and students need to be approved by IITB.
1. Allegiance, Affirmation & Confidentiality Agreement
2. Consultation Agreement
3. Evaluation Agreement
4. Research and Development Agreement (R&DA/MOU)
5. License Agreement
6. Technology Transfer Agreement
7. Alternative Dispute Resolution Agreement
8. Classified Information Non-disclosure (specific) Agreement
Dean R&D acts as a final signing authority in all the categories of
agreements listed above. IRCC facilitates the process of framing such
agreements by way of providing templates and services of professional
(IVB) Obtaining IPR:
If IITB opts to protect the creative work, it shall provide an IPR
Advisor/Patent Attorney for drafting the IP application as appropriate.
IITB shall pay for access to the relevant IP information databases and
other associated costs. The inventor(s) shall conduct IP searches, study
the prior art and provide the necessary inputs to assist in the drafting
of the IP application. IITB shall bear all costs of drafting and filing an
Indian IP application. If IITB chooses to file IP applications in other
countries, then it shall bear the cost of application and other associated
costs. IITB shall be free to enter into agreements with overseas
institutions for protection and licensing of the IP.
(V) Technology Transfer:
IITB shall strive to market the IP and identify potential licensee(s) for
the IP to which it has ownership. The creator(s) are expected to assist in
IITB may contract the IP to a Technology Management agency, which manages
the commercialization of the IP.
For the IP for which exclusive rights have not been already assigned to a
third party, the creator(s) may also contact potential licensee(s) on
their initiative maintaining confidentiality and taking all necessary care
so as not to affect the value of the IP through appropriate agreements
such as Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with the potential licensee(s)
during technology marketing discussions.
If IITB is not able to commercialize the IP in a reasonable time, then it
may reassign the rights of the IP to the creator(s) of the IP. Optionally,
If IITB has not been able to commercialize the creative work in a
reasonable time frame, the creator(s) may approach the Dean (R&D) for the
assignment of rights of the invention(s) to them.
(VI) Revenue sharing:
The net earnings from the commercialization of IP owned by IITB would be
shared as follows:
first amount Q
next amount Q
amounts more than Q
It is suggested that amount Q be initially fixed at Rs. 100 lakhs. The
creator(s) share would be declared annually and disbursement will be made
to the creator(s), their legal heir, whether or not the creators are
associated with IITB at the time of disbursement.
When ITB reassigns the rights of the IP to its creator(s) for any country,
the creator(s) shall reimburse the costs incurred by IITB for the
protection, maintenance and marketing and other associated costs from the
cumulative earnings from successful commercialization in that country as
Upto twice the cost incurred by IITB for protection, marketing and other
Co-creators of IP shall sign at the time of disclosure, a Distribution of
IP Earnings Agreement, which shall specify the percentage distribution of
earnings from IP to each co-inventor. The inventors may at any time by
mutual consent revise the Distribution of IP Earnings Agreement.
(VII) Infringements, Damages, Liability and Indemnity Insurance:
As a matter of policy, IITB shall, in any contract between the licensee
and IITB, seek indemnity from any legal proceedings including without
limitation manufacturing defects, production problems, design guarantee,
upgradation and debugging obligation.
IITB shall also ensure that IITB personnel have an indemnity clause
built-into the agreements with licensee(s) while transferring technology
or copyrighted material to licensees.
IITB shall retain the right to engage or not in any litigation concerning
patents and license infringements.
(VIII) Conflict of Interest:
The inventor(s) are required to disclose any conflict of interest or
potential conflict of interest. If the inventor(s) and/or their immediate
family have a stake in a licensee or potential licensee company then they
are required to disclose the stake they and/or their immediate family have
in the company.
A license or an assignment of rights for a patent to a company in which
the inventors have a stake shall be subject to the approval of the Dean
(R&D) taking into consideration this fact.
(IX) Dispute Resolution:
In case of any disputes between IITB and the inventors regarding the
implementation of the IP policy, the aggrieved party may appeal to the
Director of IITB. Efforts shall be made to address the concerns of the
aggrieved party. The Director’s decision in this regard would be final and
As a policy, all agreements to be signed by IITB will have the
jurisdiction of the courts in Mumbai and shall be governed by appropriate
laws in India.
- “Author” means faculty, students, staff or visiting faculty who
has/have written or created a creative work.
- “Collaborative Activity” is the research undertaken by IITB personnel
in cooperation with industry and/or another researcher(s) who are not IITB
- “Confidential Information” Information not in the public domain and
declared confidential by parties as such in a MOU/Agreement that has been
signed by the parties.
- “Conflict of Interest” or a “Potential Conflict of Interest” exists
when an inventor/author is or may be in a position to use either creative
work or influence for unmerited personal or family gain.
- “Copyright” means the exclusive right granted by law for a certain
period of time to an author to reproduce, print, publish and sell copies
of his or her creative work.
- “Copyrightable Work” is a creative work that is protectable under
copyright laws. Copyright protection is available for most literary,
musical, dramatic, and other types of creative work, including software,
teaching materials, multimedia works, proposals, and research reports.
- “Creators” are persons who have produced any original work
- “Cumulative Earnings” from a patent/patent application are the total
earnings to date obtained from the commercialization of the patent/patent
- “Design Registration” Registration of the novel non-functional features
such as shape, or ornamentation of a product.
- “IITB personnel” includes but is not limited to the faculty, students,
staff or visiting faculty, researchers and scientists at IIT Bombay.
- “Intellectual Contribution” means original technical or artistic
- “Intellectual Property” includes but is not limited to copyrights and
copyrightable materials, patented and patentable inventions, tangible
research results, trademarks, service marks and trade secrets.
- “IP Assessment Committee (IPAC)” is a committee formed by the Dean
(R&D), which decides on the issues of ownership and patentability among
others consisting of a Chairperson, the Technical Officer (Secretary) of
the IRCC and at least three additional faculty members.
- “Invention” includes but is not limited to any new and useful process,
formula or machine conceived or first reduced to practice in whole or in
part, defined within the purview of the Patent Act. Inventor(s) are
person(s) who produce an invention.
- “Licensing” is the practice of renting the intellectual property to a
- “Net Earnings” Earnings resulting from the licensing or commercialisation of the IP, reduced by the outstanding actual expenses
incurred in obtaining and commercialization of the IP.
- “Patent” means the exclusive right granted by law for making, using or
selling an invention.
- “PCT Application” A PCT is a system of filing a patent application in
several countries through a single application keeping the priority of the
first filing in any of the countries within the PCT system.. This is
administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in
Geneva. It is not a patent granting system.
- “Protection of Layout of Integrated Circuits” Layout scheme of
Integrated circuits that are functionally important.
- “Royalty” is the payment made to an inventor/author or an institution
usually for legal use of a patented invention or any Intellectual Property
- “Significant Use of IITB Resources” is any usage of IITB’s resources
in the creation of the invention(s), excess of the routine use of office
facilities, computers, library resources and resources available to the
- “Software” means anything executable in a computer.
- “Teaching material” means any material that aids the process of
- “Trade Mark / Service Mark” is a distinctive word, symbol or picture
or a combination of these, which is used by a business entity to
discriminate its products and services from those of other business
- “Trade Secret” Usually some information such as know-how of commercial
or strategic value that is not disclosed to all and is used in a