Intellectual property

In support of the university's efforts to patent, license and commercialize the results of university research for the public benefit, RPAC provides intellectual property policy guidance on the technology transfer efforts of the 10 UC campuses and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  

The Innovation Transfer & Entrepreneurship (IT&E) unit works alongside RPAC in supporting technology transfer through direct commercialization efforts such as filing patent protection or seeking commercial licensees for UC-invented intellectual property.

Policy Exceptions Under the 1997 & 2024 Patent Policies 

Under the 1997 Patent Policy (PDF) (the "1997 Policy"), RPAC issued several systemwide standing exceptions to the 1997 Policy to ensure efficient administration of the University’s research enterprise.  Standing exceptions are policy exceptions that apply to multiple projects meeting predetermined criteria. 

In early 2024, President Drake issued the new Policy on Inventions, Patents, and Innovation Transfer (PDF) (the "2024 Policy"), which supersedes the 1997 Policy, and becomes effective on July 1, 2024. 

Under the 2024 Policy, each UC location may issue their own local standing exceptions. The 2024 Policy shifts authority for policy exceptions from UCOP to UC locations. To ease the transition to location-issued exceptions, UC locations may find it beneficial to adopt or modify the following RPAC-issued standing exceptions to the 1997 Policy, all of which can be adopted for the 2024 Policy and tailored to meet local needs:  

  • Non-Exclusive Royalty-Free Invention Rights (NERF) Pilot Program (Memo 12-01) 
  • Academic Visitor IP Pilot Program (Memo 17-02) 
  • Patent Policy Guidelines for Agreements with Private Sponsors for Drug and Device Testing (Memo 14-01) 
  • Standing Exceptions for Visitors* 
  • CalTestBed User Agreement for Entrepreneurs* 
  • Business & Finance Bulletin G-40 Patent Program (see exemptions at VI.A.4.) (Business Finance Bulletin G-40 (PDF))

*internal documents available upon request 

Under the 2024 Policy, UC locations will also issue their own exceptions to individual projects on a case-by-case basis according to local policy and procedure. These are projects that do not meet the criteria of a standing exception while still meriting a policy exception. RPAC is available to advise campus authorities on issues concerning exceptions and exemptions to the 2024 Policy. Also available for review are Frequently Asked Questions for the 2024 Policy. 


UC Policy on Inventions, Patents, and Innovation Transfer: Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs and additional information on the University of California's Policy on Inventions, Patents, and Innovation (effective July 1, 2024).

Previous UC Patent Policy PDF

October 1, 1997

Effective through June 30, 2024

1990 Policy PDF | 1985 Policy PDF

Business and Finance Bulletin G-40 Link

August 1, 1994

University of California Patent Program

UC Copyright Education Web Site Link

A website devoted to educating the larger UC academic community about copyright.

Licensing/technology transfer

Licensing Guidelines PDF

February 1, 2012

These guidelines provide a general understanding of the objectives, practices and issues involved in the university licensing program.

RPAC Memo 12-02: Revised University Licensing Guidelines (February 1, 2012) Link

Guidance on Managing Conflict of Interest in License Agreements Link

May 5, 2023

RPAC Memo 23-03 provides information on managing conflict of interest in license agreements when the California Political Reform Act applies to University employees.

Equity policy Link

February 15, 2002

This policy permits the acceptance of equity in a company as partial consideration for technology licensing-related transactions.

Equity policy PDF | Guidelines on Accepting Equity When Licensing University Technology PDF

Non-Exclusive Royalty-Free Invention Rights (NERF) Program

RPAC Memo 12-01 Link | OTT Memo 08-06 Link

UC Technology Transfer contacts Link

Links to campus Technology Transfer websites and contacts.

A Tutorial on Technology Transfer in U.S. Colleges and Universities PDF

An overview of technology transfer at U.S. research universities by the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR).

Technology Transfer Annual Reports

The Technology Transfer Annual Report documents technology transfer activity and associated financial results arising under the University of California patent policy.

IP guidance pertaining to sponsored research and research collaborations

Negotiating patent terms in research agreements

Standard patent clause

Compendium Of Conflict Of Interest And Integrity Policies – Guidance PDF

Conflict of interest policy and compendium of specialized university policies, guidelines and regulations related to conflict of interest.

RPAC Memo 22-01: Applying the Tax Reform Act of 1986 to Research Related Agreements Link

April 1, 2022

Provides information on the applicability of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 to the university's basic research activities, the negotiation of sponsored research agreements and multiparty cooperative research agreements, and conditions under which the university is exempt from certain provisions of the act.

Tax Reform Act of 1986 PDF

C&G Manual Chapter 11

Intellectual Property & Related Matters

Educational and reference materials

Intellectual Property Essentials for Academic Researchers Link

An interactive overview of patents, copyright, trademarks and trade secrets.

Intellectual Property as a Student at the University of California

This guide is for University of California students to help them navigate questions they may have about intellectual property.

Background | Frequently Asked Questions


Ruchika Dhussa

Senior Research Policy Manager

Phone: (510) 987-0194


Felice Lu

Senior Research Policy Manager

Phone: (510) 987-0348


Brian Russ

Research Policy Manager

Phone: (510) 987-9194