Waiver of Ownership

If you believe that you made no significant use of MIT-administered funds or facilities and that MIT does not have any ownership rights in your invention, you can request a formal "waiver of ownership" statement from the Technology Licensing Office (TLO) that confirms the invention is not MIT-owned. This statement allows you to protect and maintain the invention at your own cost and control. The waiver statement shows potential investors that you are not violating MIT’s rights by developing and commercializing an invention that was made or created during your time at MIT.

Please note—if any aspect of the invention was developed with federal or other sponsored funding, then MIT can only waive the invention back to the sponsor who funded the research and cannot waive it back to you as an individual inventor. You may then ask the sponsor to grant you ownership rights to that invention. 

You can request this waiver of ownership statement via the TLO online disclosure form. When you are asked to select the form type, first choose “Other” and then “Request for Waiver of MIT Ownership Rights.”

Once you submit your request to the TLO:

  • The request is sent to your department head or lab director for review and signature.
  • Once signed by the department head or lab director, the form is sent to the TLO for review.
  • The TLO reviews the request and determines whether the waiver can be granted. Learn more about how this determination might be made in Section 2.1.2 of the Guide to the Ownership, Distribution, and Commercial Development of MIT Technology.
  • If approved, the TLO will send you a letter waiving any rights that MIT might have in your invention.
  • The letter states that if the technology is reduced to practice or otherwise further developed by you making significant funds or facilities, then MIT may assert further rights.

If the TLO rejects your waiver request and you disagree with the assessment, then per MIT Policy, the Vice President for Research will make the final decision on this request and on any dispute or interpretation of policy relating to intellectual property.