Learn about Intellectual Property

We help you protect IP arising from your research and maximise its impact in the world. If you don’t know much about IP, start here. The most important thing to know? Disclose your idea early and protect it before it is too late. 


Introduction to Intellectual Property

UniServices seeks to protect and commercialise the University of Auckland's IP. Patents (which cover inventions) are one key way of doing this. A patent is an exclusive monopoly right granted by the state over a strictly defined invention and the term of a patent is 20 years from the filing date. The principle of the patent system is that the inventor discloses their invention to the public, and in return receives the state-granted monopoly over the invention.

Read more for an overview of IP at UniServices.


Protecting your idea

In order for an idea or invention to be patentable it must be new (novel) and inventive. This means that the idea must not be: 

  • disclosed or used before filing a patent application, or
  • an obvious variation on existing products or publications.

Learn more about the process we follow for obtaining a patent for your idea.


What is a patent specification?

A patent specification is a legal document which describes how to make and use an invention. Patent specifications are published by the national patent office and can be accessed through the patent search portal on their website. 

Understanding patent specifications is an important skill for any researcher or technology manager. This briefing gives a basic overview of a complex and constantly evolving topic to enable you to read and make sense of patent specifications relevant to your field of technology.

Learn more about patent specifications.


What is inventorship?

Inventorship means who is listed as an inventor on a patent application. The criteria for determining inventorship are different to those applied to determining authorship of a publication. The list of inventors is not a political or subjective way to recognise contribution to a project. An inventor is someone who conceived the subject matter of the invention, i.e. made an intellectual contribution.

Learn more about what inventorship is and why it's important.