Vector Institute Intellectual Property Policy FAQ

For more comprehensive information, please reference Vector’s Intellectual Property Policy.

Who owns the IP created at Vector?

IP initially created at Vector is owned by Vector to ensure rigorous and effective processes in documentation, licensing, and management.

What is the process for disclosing and registering IP?

Vector researchers are expected to cooperate in promptly disclosing and registering Vector-created IP as may be requested.

Can Vector researchers publish their work?

Yes, Vector researchers remain free to publish.

What are the benefits derived from the exploitation of Vector-created IP?

Benefits may be achieved through licenses that may contain payments of royalties, equity, or other mechanisms as appropriate.

What is the Preferred Access license?

Researchers are entitled to a Preferred Access license to Vector-created IP in which they are majority originators. This license is convertible to an irrevocable assignment once certain financial milestones are met.

What are the equity warrants provided to startup companies co-founded by Vector researchers?

Startup companies co-founded by Vector researchers are required to provide Vector with two equity warrants. The first warrant entitles Vector to obtain 2.5% of the equity of the company at zero price. The second warrant also entitles Vector to an additional 2.5% of the equity but has conditions related to the startup remaining a Canadian Controlled Private Company with annual revenues of less than $50,000,000.

When can these warrants be executed?

The first warrant is executed at the time of the irrevocable assignment. The second warrant cannot be executed while the startup company meets certain conditions related to being a Canadian Controlled Private Company.

What is the purpose of the second warrant?

The second warrant is designed as an incentive for the startup to remain in Canada.

What happens if there is a disagreement among inventors regarding IP decisions?

In the event that an agreement cannot be reached among inventing parties, all parties will agree to binding arbitration. Decisions or actions related to entitlements to inventors require agreement from a subset of inventors whose attributed creation credit forms a simple majority (>50%).

What is Vector’s policy on reviewing the business plans of startups?

Before a license to Vector-created IP has been irrevocably assigned, Vector reserves the right to review business plans and milestones of startup companies at periodic intervals (e.g., annually) to ensure the company is contributing to the Canadian AI ecosystem.

How does Vector ensure that its IP policy doesn’t conflict with the policies of affiliated academic institutions?

Vector’s IP policy is designed not to inappropriately incent researchers to disadvantage their home academic institutions.

What is Vector’s stance on commercialization proceeds for researchers?

A Vector researcher commercializing IP according to Vector’s policies will receive the same proportion of commercialization proceeds as a researcher would receive under the University of Toronto’s Inventions Policy.

How is Vector’s IP Policy designed to support rather than impede researchers?

Vector’s IP Policy is crafted with the intention of advancing economic development by facilitating effective IP invention, protection, and commercialization by its research community. It offers education sessions, introductions to commercialization resources, and facilitated sessions with successful startup founders and VCs to help researchers on the commercialization pathway. The policy also provides researchers with a Preferred Access license to Vector-created IP, which can be converted to an irrevocable assignment under certain conditions. This approach aims to provide a clear and supportive pathway for researchers to commercialize their inventions without being an impediment.