Graduate Policies & Procedures

Patent protection

When MIT holds the rights to any intellectual property contained in a thesis, students and their advisors must work with the MIT Technology Licensing Office to determine if a patent application is to be filed. If so, the Technology Licensing Office may if necessary request a delay in publishing by notifying the Institute Archives, and the thesis will be withheld from distribution for up to one year. If an extension to this original period is required, application must be made to the Vice President for Research and Associate Provost. If approved, the Vice President for Research and Associate Provost will inform the Institute Archives in writing of the extension. The Technology Licensing Office will inform the Institute Archives as soon as the thesis can be released.

When a student holds the rights to the intellectual property contained in his or her own thesis, application must be made to the Dean for Graduate Education for permission to withhold a thesis. If granted, the Dean will inform the Institute Archives, and the thesis will be withheld from circulation for a period of three months. If an extension to this original period is required, application must be made to the Vice President for Research and Associate Provost.