Assume the following problem:

A person decides to create software for his thesis. His application turns out to be very profitable.

If he continues creating it, will the University own the intellectual property over the thesis or the application itself?

Will the revenue go to the university instead?

Is there any way the two parties can come up with a contract or agreement? If the person leaves university and doesn't finish his thesis and instead releases his application, will there be any repercussions?

  • It seems like a legal question, perhaps on-topic on law.SE? Nov 29, 2019 at 12:29
  • Usually anything created as part of your studies belongs to the University, see your contract with them. Read it with a lawyer to be sure.
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 29, 2019 at 12:31
  • Thanks. I added law as a tag.
    – DichoMire
    Nov 29, 2019 at 12:36
  • Since you already have legal-issues is swapped it for united-kingdom. It is specific to UK
    – Buffy
    Nov 29, 2019 at 12:51

1 Answer 1


Depends on the University. The university (in the UK) I most recently worked at had an Intellectual Property policy that all IP rights for students stayed with the student automatically, which differed from the policy for research staff. But the university would be happy to get involved to help commercialise in return for a share, much as your suggestion about an agreement. However, other universities have other IP policies. But whatever their policy is, it should be easily available from their intranet though it might not be available to people outside the institution.

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