The following FAQ was created to help you understand ownership in reference to patentable and non-patentable inventions, software, copyrighted works, data sets, apps, and know-how created by students. Please note: The following content does not replace the Johns Hopkins University Intellectual Property Policy.

Certain common scenarios are described below. Because all situations are unique, the scenarios described may not be identical to your specific case. Please contact JHTV with questions about IP (including patentable and non-patentable works and inventions, data sets, apps, and software) that you create while a student at Johns Hopkins University.

In situations where you own IP that you created while a student at Johns Hopkins University, you may still benefit by transferring ownership of your IP (which is called “assigning your IP”) to Johns Hopkins. Students who are not obligated to assign their IP to Johns Hopkins but nonetheless choose to do so will receive the same benefit that are received by Johns Hopkins faculty and staff (who are required to assign their rights). This means that if JHTV pursues protection of the assigned intellectual property, it will do so at no cost to the students. And if the University receives revenue from licensing the assigned IP, the students will receive a share of that revenue as defined in the Johns Hopkins University IP Policy.

If you are interested in discussing whether Johns Hopkins University may be interested in taking assignment to your personal IP, please contact us at Pava Center.


Who Owns the IP in the Following Scenarios:

Q1: An undergrad creates IP as part of a Johns Hopkins University course.
Answer: The student.

Q2: An undergrad creates IP while working in a Johns Hopkins faculty member’s lab, paid or unpaid.
Answer: Johns Hopkins University.

Q3: An undergrad creates IP while participating in a one-time JHU-sponsored entrepreneurial event (i.e., a hackathon).
Answer: The student.

Q4: An undergrad creates IP while participating in a Johns Hopkins capstone project as part of an undergraduate degree program. The undergrad’s team works with an industry partner.
Answer: Possibly the industry partner. Students in industry-sponsored Johns Hopkins capstone projects may be obligated to assign any IP that comes out of the project to the industry partner. Please speak with your Johns Hopkins instructor or advisor before engaging in industry-sponsored coursework. If you do not wish to be in a position where you will be required to assign IP to an industry partner, you will be offered a non-industry project on which to work.

Q5: An undergrad creates IP while participating in a Johns Hopkins course or degree project mentored or supervised by a Johns Hopkins faculty member or graduate student. IP is created jointly by the undergrad and the faculty member.
Answer: The IP is likely jointly owned by the student and the faculty member/graduate student. If the IP was developed during and as part of the undergraduate project, the student will retain ownership of his or her ownership rights to the jointly-created IP. Johns Hopkins University owns the IP created by the faculty member/graduate student.

Q6: An undergrad creates IP outside of coursework and without any faculty or graduate student involvement.
Answer: The student.

Graduate Students

Who Owns the IP in the Following Scenarios:

Q1: A graduate student pays tuition to participate in a Johns Hopkins University graduate program. The graduate student creates IP during a graduate course.
Answer: The student.

Q2: A graduate student is a member of a faculty lab. The graduate student creates IP during her lab work.
Answer: Johns Hopkins University.

Q3: A graduate student serves as a teaching assistant or other type of supervisor to an undergraduate course or program as part of the graduate student’s Johns Hopkins responsibilities. The graduate student and his undergraduate students jointly create IP.
Answer: The undergraduate students own their interest in the IP; Johns Hopkins University owns the interest of the graduate student.

Q4: A graduate student writes a dissertation that is itself IP.
Answer: The student, but Johns Hopkins University has certain rights to the dissertation.

Q5: A graduate student works in a Johns Hopkins faculty member’s lab and writes her dissertation based on her laboratory work.
Answer: Johns Hopkins University.