State Street Bank & Trust Co. v. Signature Financial Group, Inc. brought “business methods” into the scope of patentable material. In an academic setting, this expansion may increase the importance of university intellectual property policies to business research. This article discusses criteria for protection as copyrightable or patentable work. It also addresses implications for faculty ownership and disclosure requirements. The discussion highlights rights universities have enforced through their intellectual property policies. Recognition of these issues may be helpful in identifying both opportunities and pitfalls as “business method” intellectual property protection continues to evolve.

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