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Protecting and Commercializing Digital Innovations

Digital Innovations can be protected under different types of intellectual property laws. For example, in many countries (including the United States), computer programs (i.e., source code, object code, or scripts), screen materials, and databases can be protected under copyright laws. 

The OTC team works closely with Duke innovators to devise the appropriate intellectual property protection strategy and commercialization approaches for such Digital Innovations. 

Below are some topics and considerations for inventions and innovations in the digital space.


Digital Innovations can be protected under different types of intellectual property laws.

DI Protection Strategies


Inventions in the DI space are governed by Duke’s Intellectual Property Policy.

Learn more about DI Ownership

Data Sharing for Research

Data sharing policies govern how data should be disseminated within the academic scientific community.

Considerations for Data Sharing

Open Sourcing

Open source licenses are software licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition — in brief, they allow software to be freely used, modified, and shared.

Learn more about Open Sourcing

DI Health

Consult our Roadmap for Commercial Development of Digital Health Products for a quick overview of the commercialization process.

Download Roadmap

Creative Works

Creative works must be preserved in some form or be able to be reproduce, in order to be copyrighted.

Creative Work Protection

Data Licensing Principles and FAQs

Principles and FAQs for licensing transactions for data derived from human sources.

Visit Data Licensing Page


Additional Resources available at Duke and externally

DI Resources


View the complete list of FAQs that relate to Digital Innovations.

Visit our FAQ page

Digital innovations summary chart