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Home > Creating Copyright > Ownership Factors > Obligations


Obligations to others may arise through:

  • Sponsored research agreements
  • Licenses

Further complicating the ownership analysis is the issue of works sponsored or commissioned by third parties, such as works developed as part of research, consulting or testing agreements.

Sponsor Obligations
Many sponsors seek rights to use or own copyrightable results of research and other contractual relationships and it is necessary to consider the obligations such requirements may place on the project. If ownership is transferred to a sponsor or another party, the creator of the work may not be able to publish the work or use the work as the basis for other works.

In many cases, this factor completely changes the ownership equation. If rights have been transferred to a sponsor, it is not an issue of whether the University or the creator controls how the work is used, the sponsor would have that right.

It is appropriate to carefully consider if this situation is desirable.

In general, the University does not recommend transferring all rights to a sponsor as part of a research or other agreement because this could have adverse impact on a faculty member's ongoing research program.

If you have any questions about the copyright terms in a contractual relationship, contact UW TechTransfer Digital Ventures or the Grant and Contract Services Office.


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