University of Utah trustees sign off on new invention rules

Education • Policy says inventions made within a prof's area of expertise belong to U.
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More University of Utah inventions could come under school ownership and faculty inventors could make more money off their ideas after the Board of Trustees approved revisions to the school's policy Tuesday.

The new policy states that inventions made within a faculty member's area of expertise belong to the school — whether or not they are conceived on university property. It also gives faculty members a greater share of the profits made from their ideas, bumping their potential take to 40 percent of the first $100,000 in royalties, rather than the first $20,000.

Officials say the changes are necessary to strengthen their position with both inventors and companies who make products based on U. ideas. The policy also applies to student inventions made using campus resources. The Academic Senate signed off on the changes earlier this month.

Licensing of U. patents and technology brought in about $37 million in revenue in 2011, according to the Association of University Technology Managers.

U. trustees approved the changes unanimously without discussion as part of their consent calender Tuesday.

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