• Who owns the Intellectual Property (IP)? According to the Intellectual property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act, 2008, all IP emanating from publicly financed research belongs to the university. Therefore, IP created at the University of KwaZulu-Natal using universities resources belongs to the university.
  • How do I protect confidential information when engaging with industry or other external parties who may be potential licensees? Researchers should notify the Technology Transfer Office if they are engaging with external parties and there is IP involved. The TTO will prepare a non-disclosure Agreement which should be signed by both the external party and researcher, to ensure that confidential information is kept confidential.
  • Should I publish or patent? Researchers can both patent and publish their work. However, it is vital that the researcher approaches the TTO first prior to publicly disclosing their work, especially if they think their work has some commercial value. If the work is found to have some commercial value, a provisional patent application will be filed before the work can be disclosed in articles, theses, presentations of conferences. Researchers should contact the TTO and give atleast 60 days for the provisional patent application process before publicly disclosing. Researchers can determine whether their discovery can be patented by contacting 031 260 1838/4570. If public disclosure has taken place prior to filing a provisional patent application being filed, the invention will no longer be patentable.
  • What is 'public disclosure'? In South Africa, an invention is deemed un-patentable if the invention has been disclosed to the public. Examples of public disclosure include; written documents and oral presentations. If you are intending to present a new technology at any meeting, please contact our office well in advance so that we can advise appropriately.
  • What are revenue sharing agreements (RS)? A Revenue Sharing Agreement is an agreement which stipulates the manner in which revenue generated from the commercialisation or licensing of an invention, will be distributed between the inventors, the college and school, the university and the Technology Transfer Office. The benefit sharing agreement builds from the University’s Intellectual Property Policy.