Consulting activities offer splendid opportunities for faculty members to increase your effectiveness and broaden your experience in relation to your functions at OSU, as well as to be of service to the community, private sector, nation, and/or world. Yet the development of appropriate relationships with industry is becoming more complex.
Companies are becoming especially aggressive on intellectual property ownership clauses within consulting agreements. Certain clauses, if not modified, have the potential to block your OSU research well into the future. For protection, you need to make sure the agreement does the following – at least
- Specifically excludes areas of current and potential future research at OSU
- Constrains the intellectual property ownership obligation to the consulting time period
- Limits the confidentiality period to a reasonable period (3-5 years)
- Defines the scope of work specific to the work performed
Also, for your protection, please make certain all of your work is documented. A good practice is to keep separate notebooks for your consulting and for your work at OSU.
I’ve reviewed many consulting agreements for faculty, and am happy to do so for you. I’ll help make sure you are not providing conflicting obligations, and that you retain research freedom well into the future.
- Brian Wall, Director, Office for Commercialization and Corporate Development, OSU
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