Intellectual property law provides tools that can enhance an institution’s ability to capitalise on the value of its expertise and help it exploit innovative opportunities. Having an appreciation of the significance of intellectual property law for further and higher education is essential.
In an increasingly competitive environment where more and more learning content is digital, institutions need to know how to maximise the value of their own assets as well as how to make the best use of resources they licence. They need to be able to share and protect their own intellectual outputs while not infringing the rights of others.
What you can do
Understand the law
Intellectual property rights (IPR), very broadly, are rights granted to creators and owners of works that are the result of human intellectual creativity. Read more about intellectual property law guide in our detailed guide.
Copyright is a legally enforceable property right that makes it possible for the holder of that right to profit from a work such as a book, for example. Read our guides to copyright law, patents, designs and trademarks.
Understand licences and ownership
A licence is a contractual agreement between the copyright owner and user which sets out what the user can do with a work.
- Learn about licences for different kinds of content in our guide
- Read an explanation of the copyright exceptions that can be used in teaching and learning
- Get to know and understand the Jisc Model Licences in order to make sure that you are getting the most out of the online resources you subscribe to
- Read more about open educational resources (OERs) and how you can use these freely available teaching and learning materials
- Take a look at our archived guide on digital media resources and read our top tips on using image sharing websites.
Know how IPR affects students and skills
Students need to know about the basics of copyright enabling them to protect their own work and to use other people’s materials lawfully.
- Our specific copyright guide for students is a useful tool to help with compliance
- Read about how copyright law affects work based learning and skills.
Optimise the value of intellectual outputs
- Use the intellectual property for universities toolkit that is designed to help students and academics understand intellectual property
- Universities, colleges and businesses are increasingly working together. The intellectual asset management guide helps education institutions to protect intellectual assets created by staff and students
- Learn about collaborative research agreements.
- Discover ways to help researchers find and use your digital collection
- Our videos, aimed at universities, libraries and museums, examine the role of intellectual property rights in sustaining digital content long after its initial funding
- CREATe is the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy. CREATe investigates the future of creative production in the digital age, and in particular the role of copyright
Many institutions are involved in overseas learning and it is essential to know how to use, guard and enforce their intellectual property rights and the licenses they pay for.
- Learn more about intellectual property protection abroad.