Inventions and Proprietary Information Agreement (IPIA)

What is the IPIA?

The IPIA is an agreement that effectively transfers ownership of certain intellectual property to MIT (consistent with MIT Policy) and allows MIT to meet its legal obligations to the supporters of its research. MIT’s obligations under federal regulations and research contracts require that all persons having an opportunity to participate in research at MIT have a current IPIA on file with the Technology Licensing Office (TLO). All questions regarding the IPIA can be directed to the TLO.

Institute Compliance

Consistent with federal regulations (35 U.S.C. § 206 (the “Bayh-Dole Act”), 37 CFR 401), sponsored research obligations, and MIT Policy, everyone who can participate in MIT-administered research (i.e., faculty, research staff, and students) must sign the IPIA.

If you have signed an IPIA that was drafted prior to April 10, 2010, you must sign an updated version to comply with current federal regulations. If you are changing your status from postdoctoral or student to a visiting or affiliate appointment, you must sign the appropriate Visitor IPIA to confirm the compatability of the policies of your employer with MIT's Policies. Contact the TLO if your employer has questions about the IPIA. 

IF AN INDIVIDUAL’S IPIA IS NOT ON FILE BEFORE A RESEARCH PROJECT BEGINS, MIT IS IN VIOLATION OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS AND OTHER FUNDING OBLIGATIONS.

Assertion of Ownership

Per the IPIA, MIT would own an inventor’s own intellectual property in limited circumstances. Visit our page on invention ownership to learn more.

Obligations

The IPIA contains certain obligations of which all signers should be aware. Learn more here.

HOW TO SIGN

Some researchers can sign the IPIA via Atlas; others must sign the IPIA in hard copy. Links to forms are available below.

Who can sign via Atlas?

Faculty, staff (including visitors, research affiliates and fellows, and Media Lab), graduate students (including Media Lab), and undergraduates (including minors) may sign the IPIA via Atlas (MIT certificates required). The executed IPIA will be automatically sent to the signatory and to the TLO with a note to the DLC primary HR contact.

Visitors and research affiliates will be prompted to print the IPIA, sign, and present it to their home institution or employer for their signature (usually an authorized signatory, counsel, or Tech Transfer Office equivalent). See IPIA Guidance for Visitors for more information or contact the TLO.

Who must sign a hard copy IPIA form?

Anyone whose appointments have not been approved by the appropriate Dean’s Office must sign a hard copy version of the IPIA (see forms below). Please send the IPIA to the TLO only when the MIT ID and email address have been inserted.

Anyone transferring from a current appointment to a visiting or research affiliate appointment (e.g., graduate students or postdoctoral associates) must sign a hard copy Visitor IPIA form.

Marie Curie Fellows must sign a specific version of the IPIA that was negotiated with the European Commission.

Individuals participating in specific research initiatives may be asked to sign an IPIA unique to that program. If you think this applies, please contact the TLO with the name of the sponsor and principal investigator or the sponsor account number (if you have it). Contact the TLO for more information.

Individuals participating in specific research initiatives or undergraduates participating in specific funded courses might be asked to sign an IPIA unique to that circumstance. Contact the TLO for more information.

IPIA Forms:

MIT IPIA (MIT faculty, staff, and graduate students)

MIT Media Lab IPIA (MIT Media Lab faculty, staff, and graduate students)

MIT Media Lab Visitors IPIA (Media Lab visiting scientists and research affiliates)

MIT Undergraduate IPIA

MIT Undergraduate Minors IPIA (individuals under the age of 18)

Minors IPIA (individuals under the age of 18)

MIT Visitor IPIA (visiting scientists, research affiliates, and visiting students)

Marie Curie Fellows IPIA

FOR MORE INFORMATION

It is critical that signers understand the importance and implications of the IPIA. The TLO has prepared specific guidance documents for administrators, faculty and staff, and visitors.

IPIA Guidance for Administrators

IPIA Guidance for Faculty and Research Staff

IPIA Guidance for Visitors

IPIA Guidance for Students

INFORMATION FOR MIT ADMINISTRATORS

Your role as an administrator is to communicate the IPIA requirement to all persons and to make sure it has been signed. Per MIT Policy, the responsibility to collect the IPIA ultimately lies with the DLC.

Every person who goes through the Atlas New Hire and Atlas New Graduate Student Activities portals is asked to sign the IPIA. Once signed via the Atlas application, the IPIA is sent directly to the individual and to the TLO with a notification to the department’s primary HR contact and, as appropriate, Graduate Administrator. If your DLC does not use Atlas for its onboarding practices, it is expected that you will incorporate the IPIA into your own orientation program. 

Atlas does not require users to complete the IPIA. The TLO relies on DLC Administrative Officers and HR Administrators to ensure compliance. Please make sure all new hires and new students complete the IPIA.

Visiting students’ IPIA forms must be collected by the DLC at the time of onboarding and visiting students should be asked to sign the IPIA as early as possible. The International Students Office (ISO) does make all international visiting students aware of the requirement, but the IPIA must ultimately be collected by the DLC. These students can access the IPIA via Atlas once their Kerberos ID has been assigned or they may sign a hard copy.

Effective November 1, 2019, any student seeking to apply for the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) must sign the IPIA. These undergraduates (including minors) can access the IPIA via Atlas and should be encouraged to review and sign the IPIA long before they expect to apply for the program. Otherwise, they will be directed to Atlas at the time they first log on to the UROP application system.

For more information, please see IPIA Guidance for Administrators or contact the TLO.