University of Pittsburgh

Compensation & Incentive Plans

Intellectual Property Financial Distribution

The University of Pittsburgh Intellectual Property Policies are focused on distributing funds received from commercialization among the inventor(s), the University and the inventor(s)  department.  The historical rationale for the distribution was based upon the premise that the academic department of the inventor(s) was the sole source of financial and other resources such as space and equipment.  With the initiation and growth of University centers and institutes, such as the Transplant Institute and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, these non-departmental entities have substantially provided a variety of major resources to faculty in the pursuit of academic and commercial outcomes.

These centers and institutes provide funding for faculty and staff salaries, laboratory and office space, equipment and supplies for investigators.  These resources are comparable to, and in fact usually exceed, those provided by departments and schools within the University.  For these reasons, it is logical that these centers and institutes share in the benefits of their resource allocations.  Therefore, in addition to academic departments being able to participate in the distribution of funds from intellectual property commercialization by receiving 15% of funds, centers and institutes will also participate in this proportion of funds distributed. 

When all of the resources, resulting in commercialization, come from a single entity, such as an academic department, center or institute, that entity will be the recipient of the distribution of funds.  In the event that resources are provided by more than one entity, i.e., the academic department and a center or institute, then the distribution of funds would be based on the percentage of resources provided for the faculty member.  The distribution would be negotiated between the relevant chairperson and the center/institute director.  In the event that the chairperson and the director were unable to reach an agreement then the Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences would decide the final distribution.