World Intellectual Property Organization

IP Outreach Research > IP Use and Awareness


Title: Survey of Intellectual Property Commercialization in the Higher Education Sector 2003
Author: Cathy Read [Statistics Canada]

Year: 2005


Subject/Type: IP Protection
Focus: Commercialisation, Economic / Financial Impact
Country/Territory: Canada
Objective: To illuminate the overall process of intellectual property management in the higher education sector.
Sample: 100+ universities/degree-granting colleges (87) and affiliated research hospitals (34)
Methodology: Survey

Main Findings

In 2003, 56% of participating hospitals (slightly fewer, with 58% in 1999 and 61% in 2001) and 78% of universities (continuing upward trend, from 62% in 1999 to 68% in 2001) were actively managing (identifying, protecting, promoting and/or commercialising) their intellectual property (IP). IP management infrastructure followed a similar trend: 29% of hospitals (versus 32% and 39% in 1999 and 2001 respectively) and 68% of universities (versus 60% and 62% in 1999 and 2001) had one or more central offices engaged in IP management.

Universities' and hospitals' 2003 operational expenditures on IP management were C$ 36.4 million (1999: C$ 22.0 million; 2001: 28.5 million), of which C$ 10.4 million for patent applications and regular legal expenses. IP created at the institution was in the majority of cases owned by the researcher; however, the "researcher owns" option was generally decreasing, as well as the "no policy on ownership, whereas "joint ownership of IP " institution(s) and researcher" displayed an upward trend. When it comes to researcher requirement to report new IP created, a substantial increase in "always required to report", as well as a notable decrease in "no policy on reporting" were observed in 2003.

In the last 5 years, 51% of universities and affiliated research hospitals have filed a patent application (versus 47.4% in 2001 and 47.6% in 1999). In 2003, hospitals and universities filed 1.252 new patent applications (versus 932 in 2001 and 656 in 1999) and were issued 347 patents (versus 381 in 2001 and 349 in 1999). In total, surveyed universities and hospitals held 3.047 patents (up 43% from 2001, and 59% from 1999). The percentage of patents commercialised amounted to 45%. The number of institutions registering copyright continued to be rather low, reflecting the fact that copyright protection is granted automatically in Canada and that many institutions do not keep detailed records of all works concerned by copyright. While in 2003 no industrial designs or integrated circuit topographies were registered, a total of 31 trademarks were registered by 9 different institutions. 3 institutions protected new plant varieties.

In 2003, universities and hospitals executed a total of 422 new licenses (versus 320 and 232 in 2001 and 1999 respectively) and possessed 1.756 active licenses (up 23.3 % from 2001 and 50.7% from 1999). University and affiliated research hospital royalty income from licensing amounted to C$ 37.8 million (up from C$ 21 million in 1999, but down from C$ 47.6 million in 2001). Between 2001 and 2003, total income from IP increased from C$ 52.5 million to C$ 55.5 million (6%). To date, universities and their affiliated research hospitals have created a total of 876 spin-off companies to commercialise their technologies, in most cases with a view to licensing technology only (37%, down from 41% and 46% in 2001 and 1999 respectively). The value of remaining equity in spin-offs was C$ 52.4 million (up from 45.1 million in 2001, but down from 54.6 million in 1999).

[Date Added: Aug 18, 2008 ]

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