Copyrights protect the effort that goes into creating “original works of authorship” and art by providing exclusive rights to the copyright owner (who is not necessarily the author or artist) for a limited, albeit long time. The types of “work of authorship” are very broad – from obvious examples like writings and artwork to others like choreography, web pages, computer programs, databases, architectural drawings and boat hull designs.

While copyright law is fairly simple to state, applying it can be complicated because the result varies depending on the particular facts of each situation, such as what you want to do, whether the material was created as part of a job – even whether it had a copyright notice when it was published.

Using UC Davis’s Copyrights

Copyrights to works created by many UC Davis faculty – such as scholarly articles, books, artwork or music – and to works created by students for academic coursework initially belong to the author rather than The Regents of the University of California. To use those materials you need to contact the copyright owner, who is often the journal publisher.

Copyright to works created by UC Davis employees, which may include employed students, usually belong to The Regents. Some works created by UC Davis faculty may belong to The Regents under terms of a particular research agreement.

Because software may be protected by both copyright and patent, and because software is often developed by multiple authors including faculty, current and past graduate students, undergraduates, staff, visitors and research sponsors, determining who owns the copyright for software can be complex.

If you think the The Regents own the copyright, contact UC Davis Technology Transfer Office for information about obtaining a copyright license.

For more information see the UC Policy on Copyright Ownership.

Definitions of capitalized terms and FAQs are on the University of California copyright website.

How to Submit a Copyright Disclosure Form

To submit a Copyright Disclosure Form, you will need to access our Inventor Portal. The information below provides a guide to accessing our Inventor Portal and submitting a Copyright Disclosure Form. If you have any questions or experience any issues with the Inventor Portal, please email [email protected] for assistance.


Submit a Copyright Disclosure Form

Accessing the Inventor Portal

You will access the Inventor Portal using your UC Davis credentials (i.e., the same username and passphrase you use for all other UC Davis accounts). If this is your first time accessing the Inventor Portal, you will create a user profile once authenticated. This will only need to be done once.

  1. Navigate to the Inventor Portal web page.
  2. Once on that page, click “Log in at UCDavis.” You will now be automatically redirected to log in via the UC Davis Central Authentication Service (“CAS”) web page.
  • If you have previously accessed the Inventor Portal, you will immediately be directed to the Inventor Portal and can submit a Copyright Disclosure Form.
  • If you have not previously accessed the Inventor Portal, you will be directed to a webpage asking you to enter your UC Davis email address. If your email address is found in our system, your profile page will be displayed allowing you to verify the information in our records. If your email address is not found in our system, you will be asked to provide some information. Once done verifying information or entering in your information, click “Create Account.”

Submitting a Copyright Disclosure Form

1.Navigate to the Inventor Portal web page.

2. Once logged in, click “Add New Disclosure” on the left-hand side of the page.

3. A pop-up box will appear informing you that a new disclosure is being created. The pop-up box will also require you to enter a title and to choose the type of disclosure.

  • In the “Short descriptive title” field, enter a short title that is sufficiently descriptive to identify the general nature of the work. Four to eight words in length is usually about right.
  • Under the “Choose the Type of Disclosure” dropdown, select “Copyright Disclosure Form” from the available choices.
  • When finished, click “Create New Disclosure.”

4. Carefully read the information within the “Introduction” area.

5. In the “Summary of the Work” area, please describe the nature of the work and provide a brief summary of the work in layperson terms.

6. The next area is where the Creation Contributors are added:

  • To include creation contributors who are UC Davis faculty, staff, and students, click “Add Inventor/Creator.” When “Add Inventor/Creator” is clicked, a pop-up box will appear where you can search for UC Davis faculty, staff, and students that we currently have in our database.
    • If an individual is listed, click “Choose” under their name.
    • If an individual is not listed after your search, click “Add a new Contact” and fill in the requested information.
    • After adding the individual(s), you can then change their permissions to view or edit the disclosure. Under the “Inventor’s Disclosure Permissions/Access,” you can indicate the permissions you wish the individual to have for the Copyright Disclosure Form. If “Editor” is selected, the individual will have the permission to add, edit, and delete the disclosure. If “View Only” is selected, the individual can only add remarks and view the disclosure.
    • When finished, click “Save Changes” to add the individual(s).
  • To include creation contributors not employed by UC Davis or that have a joint appointment, click “Add Additional Information.” This will allow you to add the contributor’s name and their institution in the appropriate field. When finished, click “Save.” If you need to add more than one inventor who is not employed by UC Davis or has a joint appointment, click “Add Additional Information” again and a new row will be created. Make sure to click “Save” after each addition.

7. In the “Funding” area, indicate whether funding was used for the work. If funding was used, please list the funding sources by clicking “Add Additional Information.” This will allow you to add the sponsor, grant number, principal investigator, and any comments in the box. When finished, click “Save.” If you need to add more than one funding source, click “Add Additional Information” again and a new row will be created. Make sure to click “Save” after each addition.

  • NOTE: Funding often carries certain intellectual property obligations, so be sure to include all outside agencies, organizations, or companies that actually provided any expense funding to any creator for the development of the work. Do not list any funding source gratuitously. Failure to provide complete information on funding sources may result in delayed processing of your disclosure and/or difficulty in the University’s fulfilling its legal obligations to research sponsors.

8. In the “Creation of the Work and Current State of Development” area, please provide the requested details about the conception of the work.

9. In the “Details of the Work” please provide details of the work including any distribution or planned distribution of the work.

10. In the “Software Works” area, please describe any third-party materials that were used in the development of the software.

11. In the “Additional Information” area, please put any information found relevant for the Intellectual Property Analyst and Intellectual Property Officer to know.

12. In the “Documents” area, please provide any relevant documents that will assist the Tech Transfer team. For example, if the work is a tool, providing a copy of the tool would assist. Also include any published or unpublished manuscripts or articles describing the work, and any images, figures, or drawings.

13. In the “Remarks” area, include any questions about the form. Make sure to click “Save Remark” when you are finished.

  • NOTE: You may receive an email confirming the remark was added to the Copyright Disclosure Form.

14. Carefully read the information within the “Acknowledgments and Representations” area.

15. If you are ready to submit the Copyright Disclosure Form, click “Submit for Review.” A pop-up box will appear confirming that you would like to submit the form. Click “Yes” to proceed. We will then be notified of the submission and will begin our review. It can take thirty days or more for us to conduct an assessment.

  • NOTE: Once submitted, the Copyright Disclosure Form will no longer be editable. If you need more time or would like to come back to the disclosure at another time, click “Save As Draft” before exiting. This will save the disclosure in your Inventor Portal, and you can come back to it at a later time to submit. You may also download the disclosure as a PDF and/or as Word document at any time.

Submit a Copyright Disclosure Form


If you have any questions or if you need additional information, please contact us.