Intellectual Property

How well do you know your intellectual property rights?

Broadly speaking, intellectual property represents the set of rights and laws that flow from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic worlds. It is generally divided into two branches: copyright and patents.


Copyright applies to original literary works (this includes your thesis or dissertation), computer programs, and more. It does not protect the idea, but the expression of that idea in a fixed manner (text, drawing, and so forth).

MORE INFORMATION: Copyright Policy


All intellectual property whose content is made up of a technology is designated as “technological intellectual property.” It may include patentable inventions, know-how, trade secrets, technological upgrades, scientific or engineering software, industrial designs and integrated circuits.

You must discuss technological intellectual property with your research supervisor. The Office of Research / Centre for Technological Development (BRCDT) can also provide you with complementary information. The BRCDT is tasked with administering the policy and employs a team of experts that can advise you on the best way to protect and manage your technological intellectual property.

TO FIND OUT MORE: Policy Regarding Technological Intellectual Property


Who does my research belong to?

You’re right to ask – it doesn’t belong entirely to you! A priori, the intellectual property rights belong jointly to the researcher (you!) and to Polytechnique Montréal. The use of Polytechnique’s resources or services to carry out research work entitles Polytechnique to some rights over the results of that work. As well, there are probably other researchers involved in your research. Contact the BRCDT (web page in French only)!

Is there an industrial partner?

If yes, find out about the agreement between your research supervisor and the partner. Know what to expect when it comes to the origin of the research funding.

Who pays me?

It is important to learn the source of your compensation in order to avoid being surprised about who your results belong to.

Is there a confidentiality agreement?

Has your professor signed an agreement with a third party? Is your professor offering to establish one with you?

Are there conditions on the disclosure of my work?

Find out whether you can publish all of it, and when (especially from a patent perspective or for a commercial application).

Can I refuse the publication of my thesis or dissertation for reasons of confidentiality?

If your research work is confidential, you need to justify your request in the confidentiality form (.pdf) and submit it to the Registrar. If not, your thesis or dissertation will automatically be published.

  • Maximum of six months in the case of work related to NSERC or FRQNT co-financing with an industrial partner.
  • Maximum of one year in the case of work that is not the result of co-financing by NSERC or FRQNT with an industrial partner.