Universities can now access a new tool to help develop and manage their intellectual assets. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has a new strategy guide called ‘Intellectual Asset Management for Universities’. This new guide provides advice and information to universities to help them understand how they can best use their institution’s Intellectual Property. This can be an invention, trade mark, original design or the application of a good idea.

The creation and dissemination of knowledge is at the heart of every university activity. The challenge is realising how this knowledge can best be utilised as an asset that can provide the maximum value to the economy, society and the university itself. Many universities are now fully aware of how to commercialise the IP arising from their research base. However, there is now a much broader appreciation that impact extends beyond the simple commercialisation of patents. Universities now need to be able to create an overall strategy for managing their IP in line with their mission.

This Guide is for vice-chancellors, senior decision makers and senior managers in universities and is intended to help them set strategies to optimise the benefits from the intellectual assets created by their staff and students. The Guide does not provide an IP strategy that can be applied across all institutions as there is no “one size fits all” approach to IP management. Instead, it will assist in the generation of a strategic blend of approaches to IP specific to each individual institution’s strengths and missions, that can help secure optimum benefit for the economy, society and the university. It identifies the key features that need to be considered in order to build a strategic framework for the managing of IP.


The booklet has been produced thanks to contributions from a number of partners including Research Councils UK (RCUK), the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Universities UK (UUK), PraxisUnico and AURIL (the Association for University Research and Industry Links). The new guide replaces an older version that was first produced in 2003.

About IPO:

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official government body responsible for Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the United Kingdom. These rights include:

  • Patents
  • Designs
  • Trade marks
  • Copyright

We are an Executive Agency of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). We promote innovation by providing a clear, accessible and widely understood IP system, which enables the economy and society to benefit from knowledge and ideas.