University of Pittsburgh Required
Intellectual Property Assignment
Frequently Asked Questions:
WHO IS REQUIRED TO HAVE AN IP ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENT ON FILE WITH THE UNIVERSITY?
All Pitt principal investigators and employees (other than clerical or nontechnical personnel) named on a federal contract or grant effective or renewed on or after May 14, 2018 will be required to have an IP assignment agreement on file at the Innovation Institute. Pitt research personnel who must comply include, but are not limited to, principal investigators (PIs), investigators, research associates, postdoctoral associates, and research staff.
Graduate students, Postdoctoral Scholars, and undergraduates are not required to complete these IP assignment agreements to be supported on Federal grants or contracts (unless they are submitting a proposal through the Office of Sponsored Programs – OSP) and in any event they are subject to Pitt’s IP policies.
DO PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS NEED TO HAVE AN IP ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENT ON FILE AT THE INNOVATION INSTITUTE?
Yes, if the principal investigator is named on any federal contract or grant effective or renewed on or after May 14, 2018, an IP Assignment agreement must be on file at the Innovation Institute.
DO POSTDOCS NEED TO HAVE AN IP ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENT ON FILE AT THE INNOVATION INSTITUTE?
A postdoctoral researcher with a transitional position preparatory to an academic or research career may hold an appointment as a Postdoctoral Associate or as a Postdoctoral Scholar The requirements for IP assignment agreements depend on the nature of the appointment. Specifically:
Yes, an IP assignment agreement must be on file at the Innovation Institute if a postdoc is employed as a Postdoctoral Associate and supported on any federal contract or grant effective or renewed on or after May 14, 2018.
No, an IP assignment agreement does not need to be on file at the Innovation Institute if a postdoc is appointed as a Postdoctoral Scholar supported by training grants, postdoctoral fellowships, or external funding not subject to Bayh-Dole.
For additional information on appointments as Postdoctoral Associates and Postdoctoral Scholars see: https://www.provost.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/GuidelinesForPostdoctoralAssociatesAndPostdoctoralScholars2018.pdf
DO GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCHERS NEED TO HAVE AN IP ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENT ON FILE AT THE INNOVATION INSTITUTE?
No, graduate students are not required to sign these IP assignment agreements to be supported on federal grants or contracts unless they are submitting a proposal through the Office of Sponsored Programs – OSP. They are still subject to the University Policy on intellectual property and terms of other non-federal support that they may receive.
DO STAFF NEED TO HAVE AN IP ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENT ON FILE AT THE INNOVATION INSTITUTE?
Yes, if the staff member is named on any federal contract or grant effective or renewed on or after May 14, 2018, an IP assignment agreement must be on file at the Innovation Institute, unless they are clerical or nontechnical personnel.
DO UNDERGRADUATES NEED TO HAVE AN IP ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENT ON FILE AT THE INNOVATION INSTITUTE?
No, undergraduates are first and foremost students, even if they are compensated as student employees, and do not need to sign these IP assignment agreements to be supported on federal grants or contracts. They remain subject to the University policy on intellectual property and terms of other non-federal support they may receive.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF A NEW RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, POSTDOCTORAL ASSOCIATE, OR RESEARCH STAFF MEMBER IS ADDED TO A FEDERALLY FUNDED PROJECT?
New research personnel added to a federally funded research project on or after May 14, 2018, who are employees, must complete an IP assignment agreement, and the agreement must be filed with the Innovation Institute.
DO I NEED TO SIGN AN IP ASSIGNMENT IF I HAVE DUAL APPOINTMENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY AND THE VA?
Yes, you will need to sign both a University of Pittsburgh assignment form and a VA assignment form. For convenience, a two page versions of the VA form as the second page, is also available.
IP ASSIGNMENT PROCESS
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR OBTAINING THE IP ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENTS FOR FEDERALLY FUNDED PROJECTS?
Principal Investigators should work with their departments, schools, or centers to obtain IP assignment agreements on an ongoing basis from members of the research team supported by PIs’ federal contracts or grants.
WHERE DO I SEND MY SIGNED IP ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENT?
Completed original IP Assignment agreements will be retained and tracked by the Innovation Institute. Schools or departments may already have a process for obtaining IP Assignment agreements from the personnel listed on federally sponsored awards/proposals; in that case follow the process that your unit has developed to route IP Assignment agreements to the Innovation Institute. Or, mail the signed original to:
Attention: IP Assignment
1st Floor Gardner Steel Conference Center (GSCC)
130 Thackeray Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
A scanned, signed copy should also be emailed to IPAssignmentform@pitt.edu
A copy should be retained by your school/department as part of its IP Assignment agreement compliance process.
WHEN DO I SUBMIT SIGNED IP ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENTS?
Completed IP assignment agreements may be submitted at any time to the Innovation Institute, even before a proposal for federal funding is submitted to the Office of Sponsored Programs
IP assignment agreements must be submitted when a federal proposal is funded, because IP assignment agreements are required before a federal grant or contract can be activated.
CONTACTS FOR QUESTIONS
WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE IP ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENT SUBMISSION PROCESS?
Questions related to the IP assignment agreement submission process should be addressed to IPAssignmentform@innovation.pitt.edu.
WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE SUGGESTIONS ABOUT ADDITIONS TO THESE FAQS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT IP IN GENERAL?
Questions about these FAQs, suggestions for additions to these FAQs, or questions about IP in general should be addressed to IPQuestions@pitt.edu