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The Nelson Mandela University, as a Higher Education Institution, is bound by the provisions of the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act 51 of 2008.  The IPR Act governs the ownership and utilisation of IP which flows from publicly financed research and development.

In terms of Section 4(1) of the IPR Act, the default position is that all Intellectual Property which emanates from publicly financed research and development is owned by the recipient. A “recipient” is defined as “any person, juristic or non-juristic, that undertakes research and development using funding from a funding agency [e.g. Government] and includes an institution”. Therefore the Nelson Mandela University, as a publicly financed institution, is bound by the provisions of the IPR Act.  The result is that the University owns the Intellectual Property which is developed during or consequent to publicly financed research conducted either utilising the facilities of Nelson Mandela University and/or any personnel of the University.

Nelson Mandela University cannot, in terms of legislation, negotiate on this point unless full cost is paid. In terms of the IPR Act, if an entity is paying the full costs of research, the IPR Act will not apply to the Intellectual Property developed during the research and in this instance Nelson Mandela University will be able to negotiate IP ownership with the entity.  For assistance in calculating the full cost of research, please contact the Innovation Office (041 504 2546) or see the guidelines here.