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research, knowledge transfer and innovation in higher education

Higher education building

From ground-breaking academic research and innovative incubator and accelerator programmes to trademark, copyright and patent portfolios, a university’s intellectual property is one of its most important commercial assets. As a key market differentiator, it is critical that higher education institutions (HEIs) can identify, capture, license, monetise and protect their intellectual property.

With extensive experience and expertise in advising both universities and corporates looking to collaborate with the higher education sector, our lawyers have a unique insight into the challenges, needs and aspirations of our higher education (HE) clients.

Our extensive international expertise supported by our membership of Pangea Net – a trusted network of independent law firms spanning 28 jurisdictions – enables us to provide you with the necessary strategic Intellectual Property (IP) and operational advice and guidance you need to operate successfully in both developed and emerging economies.

What we offer

  • Capturing and protecting your IP assets and ensuring they remain protected
  • Exploiting IP- drafting and negotiating agreements on all aspects of IP use and exploitation
  • Dispute resolution – helping to enforce your IP rights
  • Supporting the development of commercial ventures from incubator and accelerator hubs to university spinouts
  • Conducting comprehensive IP audits
  • Drafting and negotiating research & development (R&D) agreements
  • Advising on international collaborations and joint ventures.

Why choose Browne Jacobson intellectual property solicitors?

Our intellectual property team is ranked as the “go to firm for heavyweight IP matters”. For more information about our intellectual property legal services for higher education please contact Selina Hinchliffe.


focus on...

How to commercialise your IP: licensing, spin outs and JVs

Our expert panel, comprised of IP and corporate law specialists, discuss IP commercialisation strategies, their benefits and pitfalls, drawing on experience across the private, public and higher education sectors.

recent experience

  • Advising a university on its joint venture and trading entity structures for exploitation of its IP including charity and tax law support in conjunction with IP

  • Advising a university with multiple collaborators on the testing phases and route to market involving patentable technology capable of cutting diesel engine missions in line with government targets and timelines

  • Advising HEIs on the legal issues affecting IP ownership in Germany, China and the United States

  • Advising a HEI on the manufacturing and development of technology in China

what the directories say...



A client says: "They are my legal partner of choice for commercial and intellectual property matters," adding: "I have found them to be open, flexible and creative."

Chambers 2020


"The team is reliable and extremely responsive," remarks one client, who adds: "They are the best in the business and their reputation is well deserved."

Chambers 2020

focus on...

Protecting University IP and safely utilising building capacity during COVID-19

As Universities look to utilise their labs and bring staff and students back to campus, whilst potentially continuing with at home study and research, what are the key IP issues to consider and associated health and safety aspects?

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Legal updates

The mental health of higher education staff – duty of care in uncertain times

As we embrace mental health awareness week from 18 May 2020, it is timely to reflect on some of the steps that HEIs can take to discharge their duty of care in uncertain times.

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Higher Education procurement and contracting during COVID-19

What can and should universities do to set up contracts for September when there is uncertainty about how education will be delivered, or when staff have been furloughed or otherwise engaged?

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Legal updates

The Government’s Job Retention Scheme - New guidance for higher education (HE) providers

The Department for Education has recently published guidance on the Government’s Job Retention Scheme which has now been extended to last until the end of June this year. It has clarified that its primary focus is to ensure that Higher Education providers are able to continue delivering HE services and support the needs of students both on and off the campus.

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