Research Policy Handbook


Other Intellectual Property: Trademarks, Patents and Proprietary Information

Policy Authority

Stanford Board of Trustees

Policy Contact

Now in Policy Details

Establishes University policy for Trade and Service Marks and Proprietary Information.

1. Trade and Service Marks

Trade and service marks are distinctive words or graphic symbols identifying the sources, product, producer, or distributor of goods or services. Trade or service marks relating to goods or services distributed by the University shall be owned by the University. Examples include names and symbols used in conjunction with computer programs or University activities and events. Consult the Office of Technology Licensing for information about registration, protection, and use of marks.

2. Patents

See Stanford Policy on Inventions, Patents, and Licensing, in the Research Policy Handbook.

3. Proprietary Information

Proprietary information arising out of University work (e.g., actual and proposed terms of research agreements, financial arrangements, or confidential business information) shall be owned by the University. "Trade secret" is a legal term referring to any information, whether or not copyrightable or patentable, which is not generally known or accessible, and which gives competitive advantage to its owner. Trade secrets are proprietary information.

NOTE: All research involving proprietary information owned by others is subject to the University's Policy Guidelines on Openness in Research, as adopted by the Senate of the Academic Council.

4. Tangible Research Property

The University encourages the prompt and open exchange, for other's scholarly use, of software, firmware and biological material resulting from research. See Stanford's policy on Tangible Research Property.