Academics at the University of Cambridge have voted this week to approve a major overhaul of the university's intellectual property (IP) policy. The changes shift control of patenting away from individual researchers and into the hands of the university itself but specify that the academics own all other forms of IP.

The new rules state, among other things, that patents generated by internally funded research will now be owned by the university. They outline a sliding scale of reimbursement for inventors, starting at 90% of the first £100,000 in revenues and dropping to 34% after £200,000.

Of the nearly 1100 academics who took part in the ballot, which closed on Monday (December 12), 790 voted to support the new policy, 259 wanted an amended version, and 49 completely rejected it.

Under Cambridge's traditional IP policy, academics could file for their own patents. In 2001, those arrangements were altered so...

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