<p>Since MS and PhD students are doing "original research", would it make sense if everyone who had successful results to apply for a patent? It's new discovery, so would the original works be qualified for patents?</p>

<p>The school would most likely own the patent. I'm sure in many cases that patents are filed, especially when it would be financially smart to do so.</p>

<p>I don't know what the standard is for something being patentable. For example, if some alloy composed of three elements has been used for a while in a certain mixture and some new research shows that changing it a bit improves it somehow, is that patentable? There's a lot of examples, I'm sure, that would be very questionable.</p>

<p>Patents come out of it occasionally, but academic research is often too theoretical to effectively patent. However, there are plenty of examples of grad students taking their research and using them a a basis for starting a company. That probably follows from the instances where there are patents most often, though. That generally only happens when th research is less fundamental, like lab-on-a-chip research for example.</p>

<p>How about if you create a device? What does it mean if it's financially smart to? I see some of the students research is theoretical (numerical, theoretical) but wouldn't creating a device that demonstrates an engineering phenomenon be the best way for a grad student to apply for a patent?</p>