Questions tagged [intellectual-property]

Questions regarding the legal ownership of information and intellectual output.

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144 votes
18 answers
26k views

Is it appropriate for a professor to require students to sign a non-disclosure agreement before being taught?

There's a professor at my school that claims to be writing a book. He is requiring students to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before certain lectures because he wants to maintain certain ideas ...
Tyler's user avatar
  • 901
121 votes
17 answers
37k views

Should I send professors money for illegally downloading their books? [closed]

I illegally download almost all the books I need for my studies. While I'm more than happy to give a middle finger to the publisher mafia, it does of course mean that the author of the book is not ...
James's user avatar
  • 1,167
94 votes
9 answers
15k views

PhD student, issued contract at year 3 which will sign over intellectual property. Is it legal?

I'm EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, the biggest UK funding source in the sciences and engineering) funded. Several months into my PhD an industrial sponsor came along. In ...
user2350366's user avatar
  • 1,912
79 votes
9 answers
114k views

Can I use images showing up in Google search for my presentation slides without violating any copyright?

I am teaching a freshman science course for the first time and I am doing also outreach activities in high schools. To be able to attract the young generation to science one has to connect the ...
New Science Faculty's user avatar
73 votes
10 answers
17k views

Is it appropriate for an undergrad student to ask a professor to sign a non-disclosure agreement?

Allow me to first give some context. A friend and I have been discussing a business idea involving a technical device that I need some guidance on how to perfect. My friend just told me he is taking ...
C. Spencer's user avatar
68 votes
11 answers
26k views

Advisor professor asks for my dissertation research source code

I am a PhD student and I wrote a computer program for my dissertation research. Recently my advisor professor got a grant and she wants to use my computer program in her grant and she asks me for the ...
W_H's user avatar
  • 647
50 votes
3 answers
8k views

What should I do if I submitted an article to a predatory journal?

Call it stupidity or bad luck but I am guilty of submitting my research article to a journal which is listed in Beall's List of Predatory Publishers. It is my first article and I don't have much ...
awatan's user avatar
  • 877
46 votes
6 answers
56k views

Is it mandatory to include the registered trademark symbol ® next to the name of a computer program?

Suppose you write a paper and you use Wolfram Mathematica to do calculations. In the article, should the program be mentioned with the registered-trademark symbol immediately following the name and in ...
User X's user avatar
  • 1,119
45 votes
9 answers
15k views

My supervisor uses my scientific jokes and metaphors in his talks. What's a healthy way to deal with this?

I'm a PhD student in the US. During my PhD I gave many conference talks, seminars, and presentations at our group meetings. In my talks, I often mention a creative way to phrase a problem, sometimes ...
user166549's user avatar
39 votes
3 answers
12k views

While in Phd I developed a lot of code that I want to turn into start-up. Can I do this?

I was working 3 years on a project, that I came up with on my own, worked on my own, published 2 papers on it. I want to drop out of Phd (or take leave) and do start up at this point using my code. ...
YohanRoth's user avatar
  • 625
38 votes
10 answers
11k views

How can I sell independently created software to my university?

I am in a situation that I think is not uncommon nowadays. I wrote software on my own time, by my own decision, and with my own resources during my undergrad career at a university in the US, and ...
StanMarsh's user avatar
  • 481
37 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is there any research on the prevalence of academic theft?

Some ­— perhaps many — academics seem to be very careful in keeping unpublished work secret. It is not difficult to find anecdotes where academic ideas are stolen, such as in this post by @Markus. ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 42.8k
35 votes
2 answers
10k views

How to acknowledge contributions of anonymous referee in new paper?

I'm in mathematics, just in case that matters. I submitted a manuscript to a journal, and got an extensive referee report from referee X. After sending the revision, the paper got rejected, so I sent ...
Darren Ong's user avatar
  • 4,259
33 votes
5 answers
18k views

Advisor professor asking me for the source code of my dissertation in order to be used by another student

I finished my master's degree (Computer Science) a short time ago, and I don't currently plan to continue my academic studies. My adviser asked me for the source code of the application I developed ...
Jan Schwarz's user avatar
33 votes
8 answers
6k views

Private company using my dissertation [closed]

Context: I work for a small private company in the US energy sector. Recently, my colleague found an application opportunity for the tool I developed as my PhD dissertation. We tested it out with a ...
Obviously Anonymous's user avatar
32 votes
5 answers
6k views

Principal investigator requests transfer of GitHub repository with my code to his account

I am a senior postdoc and have recently published a bioinformatics algorithm in an academic journal. For that publication, I was listed as the first author of the manuscript, and my principal ...
YoungAcademic's user avatar
27 votes
4 answers
8k views

Would it violate copyright to retype a classic mathematics book from the 1960s using modern notation and uploading it online?

I am reading a classic book in mathematics that was published in the 1960s. This book uses very old notation, which makes it impossible to read it. Suppose further that I want to read the whole book ...
Son Gohan's user avatar
  • 429
25 votes
7 answers
26k views

Commercial company wants me to list all prior "inventions", give up everything not listed [closed]

I'm a post-doctoral researcher in computer science, but my next position will be in industry. I've been negotiating a contract with this commercial company to do R&D work (not while I'm employed ...
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 39.1k
23 votes
4 answers
2k views

Professor wants to expropriate submitted code for commercial use

I'm a Computer Science graduate student enrolled in a US University. In a class I'm currently taking, the professor has just given us a strange assignment. The professor works full-time in industry ...
Tubs's user avatar
  • 333
23 votes
2 answers
2k views

Intellectual theft by a colleague, how to respond?

A recent exciting but unpublished discovery of mine was scooped by a colleague. I am a PhD student and I shared the discovery with the colleague a year ago. The colleague is a professor who came from ...
ZacHammer's user avatar
  • 935
21 votes
3 answers
4k views

What can I do with a research project that is my university’s intellectual property?

I'm working on a final year project on software development. I intend to publish it as a research paper on computer science, but the university says that it will hold intellectual-property rights (IPR)...
theenigma017's user avatar
20 votes
3 answers
6k views

PI published my work after I graduated without informing me (and with a different first author)

When leaving with my PhD I left a sizable amount of unpublished work, most of which was 95% or better complete. After several attempts over the past 2 years to find out his plans for publishing I all ...
user41131's user avatar
  • 209
20 votes
3 answers
9k views

Who holds intellectual property rights on a thesis?

I thought of an interesting idea for a thesis for my Masters program and I think I would eventually be able to sell a product that is built from the algorithms/code that I develop for this thesis. I ...
jluzwick's user avatar
  • 303
19 votes
3 answers
6k views

What to do when an advisor takes credit for a grant proposal?

I've been writing a big grant proposal for the last few months and I am almost done. I asked my advisor to read it and give me advice on content, and he has yet to read it. He's always saying he'll "...
DNA_Chemist's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
5k views

How much information should I divulge about on-going unpublished research at a conference?

I'm developing a paper right now based upon some of my preliminary results, and I'm attending several conferences to present and get some feedback on my results from other experts in my field. A ...
Paul's user avatar
  • 11.4k
19 votes
2 answers
3k views

Hiring a faculty consultant

We need to hire a computer scientist with a very particular specialty as a consultant for a long term industrial research project. We've read the relevant papers and so know who does good work in it. ...
SRobertJames's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
4k views

What to do when a publication uses results of your research but does not cite it?

Recently, I found a monograph that includes results from my dissertation. Those results have also been included in conference presentations. They have also been disseminated by the funding agency that ...
Lindsey McGowen's user avatar
17 votes
6 answers
7k views

Do I hold the copyright on test answers?

If I turn in a test with my work on it, is that work under copyright by me or the teacher? If the teacher does not want to give me the test contents, can I ask for my answers to the questions as ...
Evergreen's user avatar
  • 343
16 votes
3 answers
4k views

Do I have to acknowledge the company where I started a project when I later publish related research in college?

I completed an internship at a company. During the internship I worked on a generic and publically well-known problem statement and delivered its solution to the company. After the internship, I ...
Devashish Prasad's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
8k views

Can a university claim patent rights for inventions performed on my own time?

I'm working for a university as a research programmer (prof staff, exempt) on an external grant ("soft money"), and there is a clear understanding between me and my immediate supervisor/PI, and at ...
cnst's user avatar
  • 459
15 votes
4 answers
11k views

Who owns the intellectual property for work you do on weekends?

I am an academic at a UK university and have been asked to do some consultancy work for a company who wants to own all the IP for that work. I would only do this work on the weekends. Would my ...
Simd's user avatar
  • 3,171
15 votes
3 answers
8k views

Why is Paper Publishing and getting a patent completely unrelated?

I know that not all, but many papers (that are accepted and published) are based on ideas that can be patented as well. So, why is that there is no system in which a person can apply for a Publishing ...
user avatar
15 votes
6 answers
1k views

Keeping credit for my work

I joined a new lab a while ago, and am having an issue with keeping the credit for my work. Two instances so far: I co-authored a series of papers with the professor and a senior graduate student. I ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 1,065
15 votes
1 answer
711 views

Who "owns" a project idea after a grant application is rejected or declined?

This past year I put in an application to a federal agency (US) for a post-doctoral fellowship and collaborated on it with a three profs/research scientists on the proposal. If funded, one of them ...
DirtStats's user avatar
  • 303
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

What to do about collaborators & co-authors who fail to understand authorship & plagiarism?

I've been working on a research paper in the field of education with co-authors for the past year. I know both of these individuals professionally for several years. One is a more seasoned author than ...
drk's user avatar
  • 141
13 votes
3 answers
3k views

If a research project leads to potential financial benefits, who owns such benefits?

I am deciding if I should follow the academic path or work in industry. One of the perceived benefits of academia is the ownership of your own work, be it papers or patents. I want to know how much ...
MOON's user avatar
  • 1,845
12 votes
5 answers
3k views

How/when to retract a project from a student?

Take, for example, that a student is nearing the end of their thesis project. The supervisor has an idea for a new method that can help to verify the results of part of the project. He does not think ...
xyz's user avatar
  • 1,085
12 votes
3 answers
292 views

Negotiating with journal publishers about intellectual property of the paper?

One of my colleagues told me authors after acceptance can negotiate about the intellectual property (IP) rights. It is frustrating to wait for peer review long times, and after acceptance publisher ...
antmw1361's user avatar
  • 1,173
12 votes
2 answers
750 views

Advisor trying to patent an idea for himself even though we wrote the paper together!

My advisor is trying to patent an idea without me. I got to know that he is registering the patent through the IP officer at our University. When I asked him about it, he did not give me a straight ...
computationally_curious's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

How can I protect a course I created independently from being taken by the community college I substitute for, when I am about to teach it there?

I have created a course independent of the community college I substitute for. I contacted the CE department about a year ago to see if my course would be something I could offer as a CE course at the ...
Misstrace 's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Collaborative project started by a post-doc taken over by PI

I am a young post-doc working under an ERC-contract (thus, I do not have my own grant or fellowship). I recently attended a conference where I met some people and we discussed possible collaborations ...
Disenchanted researcher's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
257 views

How much data should be shared in the collaboration?

Well, I am interested to know how much data, code, results, etc needs to be shared in a successful collaboration. For example: when engineers collaborate with AI researchers to optimize an engineering ...
antmw1361's user avatar
  • 1,173
10 votes
5 answers
3k views

What to do when a PhD supervisor is not collaborating on publications after the PhD from it?

If someone's (SO) PhD supervisor is not collaborating on publications from SO's PhD. The problem arose as SO raised his mistrust (for the supervisor) on other academic issues. The supervisor treats ...
manal's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
2 answers
403 views

How much unfinished work and unexplored ideas should one share in a presentation?

Background: I am a fourth year math graduate student working in differential geometry in the US. I'm currently preparing a presentation for a graduate seminar at my university, and today I met with ...
AegisCruiser's user avatar
  • 4,407
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Preparing lecture notes and references?

I am a new teacher/lecturer in science, and I am preparing lecture notes for my module. I am putting together a lot of material coming from textbooks as well as borrowing material from other lecture ...
Totoro's user avatar
  • 93
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Intellectual Property Assignment Agreements for Ph.D. students - What is normal?

As an incoming Ph.D. student I was asked to sign an intellectual property assignment agreement in addition to an employment contract as a condition for receiving a tuition reduction and a stipend. ...
Jota's user avatar
  • 193
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Should I copyright my notes?

I generate detailed notes throughout the school year to help out the students. Most of these notes are in the range of 30 - 50 pages. I wonder if I should attempt to copyright my notes to ensure ...
Fraïssé's user avatar
  • 11.5k
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

Hiring academics for very large industrial consulting projects - how to find an arrangement without full-time employees?

As described in Hiring a faculty consultant, we need to hire a faculty consultant. The initial stages are perhaps only 100 hours, but subsequent stages may blossom to ten times that. Will good ...
SRobertJames's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
892 views

Can I use a graph or figures of a paywalled paper under fair use?

I am writing a blog post citing several paywalled papers. Could I also put graphs, diagrams or photos from these papers in my blog post under fair use? My field is medical object detection and I ...
Jean's user avatar
  • 895
9 votes
2 answers
502 views

Does living in university housing mean that they will own intellectual property you create there?

So I was wondering. Most IP policies at Universities state that you must work on inventions, software, etc. on your own time in order to keep your rights to it. Most also say that you can't use ...
Happal's user avatar
  • 99