Principles Regarding Rights to Future Research Results in
University Agreements with External Parties
August 26, 1999
The enclosed Principles Regarding Rights to Future Research Results in University Agreements with External Parties
establish the fundamental parameters for negotiating agreements with external parties to address rights and obligations
associated with future University research results. This policy is effective immediately.
The University's ability to effectively manage its research results to support teaching and research programs while
encouraging the practical application of those results for the public benefit is critical to our mission. Because
University research may be conducted pursuant to a variety of agreements with external parties, this policy applies
to any UC agreement with others that addresses future research results, whether that agreement is administratively
managed as a contract or grant, a procurement, a sales and services contract, or is in another form.
Within these parameters, authorized University personnel have significant flexibility to address case-specific
interests and circumstances. Issuance of this policy does not alter existing University policy or guidance on this
matter. The Senior Vice President--Business and Finance shall develop appropriate administrative guidelines, delegations
of authority, and accountability measures to support campus and Laboratory activity in this area, and will evaluate
the efficacy of this policy within five years of this date.
Richard C. Atkinson
cc: Members, President's Cabinet
Academic Council Chair Dorr
Special Assistant Gardner
Executive Director Feuerborn
Members, Council on Research
Members, Technology Transfer Advisory Committee
University of California
Office of the President
August 26, 1999
This policy defines the core principles to be addressed in University agreements with external parties as to rights
to future research results including patents, copyrights, tangible property, and data generated by the University
community or through the use of University resources.
The University increasingly is called upon to participate in a broad spectrum of research relationships with governmental
agencies, nonprofit foundations, and industry. Such relationships encompass traditional extramural research funding
arrangements, research collaborations, multi-party research consortia, visits by others to University laboratories,
student and faculty visits to external laboratories, and use of University equipment and facilities by others.
Other University relationships with external parties, such as purchasing or real estate transactions, may also
have implications for future University research results. Properly cast, all such relationships can help both the
University and the external party advance their respective and mutual research interests.
Each University agreement with an external party must recognize the importance of managing the results of research
to enhance the teaching and research programs of University faculty, researchers, students, and postdoctoral scholars.
To ensure the long-term success of such relationships, agreements should acknowledge the participants' respective
contributions, understanding that parties may have divergent interests in the results of research. Regarding technologies
and other results arising from research they support, industry partners may rely upon strong patent or proprietary
positions to gain competitive positions in the marketplace. The University has a commitment to make the fruits
of its research widely available through publication and open distribution of research products. The University
also seeks to protect the viability of its research programs, to foster open inquiry beyond the interests of any
one research partner, and to recognize its fiduciary responsibility as the beneficiary of a publicly -funded research
For University relationships with external parties to succeed, agreements must address the parties' interests in
future research results through flexible application of fundamental principles to a broad range of specific circumstances.
Rights and obligations associated with future research results shall be based on the following principles:
- Open Dissemination of Research Results and Information
Agreements with external parties shall not abridge the ability of University
researchers to disseminate their research methods and results in a timely
manner. The most fundamental tenet of the University is the freedom to interpret
and publish or otherwise disseminate research results in order to support
the transfer of knowledge to others and maintain an open academic environment
that fosters intellectual creativity.
- Commitment to Students
Agreements for research relationships with external parties shall respect
the University's primary commitment to the education of its students.
- Accessibility for Research Purposes
Agreements with external parties shall ensure the ability of University
researchers to utilize the results of their research to perform future research.
- Public Benefit
Agreements with external parties shall support the ability of the University
to make available for the public benefit in a diligent and timely manner
any resulting innovations and works of authorship.
- Informed Participation
All individuals involved in research governed by a University agreement
with an external party shall have the right and responsibility to understand
the rights and obligations related to future research results embodied within
- Legal Integrity and Consistency
Commitments concerning future research results made in agreements with
external parties shall be consistent with all applicable laws and regulations
and the University's contractual obligations to others.
- Fair Consideration for University Research Results
Agreements with external parties shall provide fair consideration to the
University and the general public for granting commercial access to future
University research results.
- Objective Decision-Making
When establishing or conducting University relationships with external
parties, decisions made about rights to future research results shall be
based upon legitimate institutional academic and business considerations
and not upon matters related to the personal financial gain of any individual.
These principles shall apply to all University agreements with external parties that impact rights to University
research results, whether such agreements are administratively managed as contracts and grants, as procurements,
as sales and services contracts, or as other forms of agreement.
University relationships with external parties are most efficiently established and managed by delegating appropriate
authority to well-trained campus and Laboratory negotiators for development, negotiation, and execution of a broad
range of tangible and intellectual property rights arrangements. Each such arrangement must be consistent with
the provisions of this policy, but may be tailored specifically to particular circumstances. Since disposition
of research results arising from such relationships is based on both University academic and business considerations,
it is important that authorized University contracting personnel and University academic personnel together participate
in and take responsibility for decisions concerning such arrangements.
Although this Policy is applicable to the three Department of Energy National Laboratories, allocation of rights
under various agreements at the Laboratories may be subject to overriding obligations of The Regents under DOE
The Senior Vice President--Business and Finance shall develop appropriate delegations of authority, administrative
guidelines, and accountability measures to support campus and Laboratory activity in this area.