The parties to this agreement believe that the University’s interest is best served by creating an
intellectual environment whereby creative efforts and innovations can be encouraged and
rewarded, while still retaining for the University and its learning communities reasonable access to,
and use of, the intellectual property for whose creation the University has provided assistance.
The University supports the development, production, and dissemination of intellectual property
by its faculty members.
What is Intellectual Property?
When used in this agreement, the term “Intellectual Property” shall be understood collectively to mean
Copyrights, Patents, Patent Applications, and discoveries which are not protectable under the U.S.
Patent laws, and Copyrights.
When used in this agreement, the term “Copyright” shall be understood to mean that bundle of rights
that protect original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or
later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either
directly or with the aid of a machine or device. “Works of authorship” (including computer programs)
include, but are not limited to the following: literary works; musical works, including any
accompanying words; dramatic works, including any accompanying music; pantomimes and
choreographic works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works (photographs, prints, diagrams, models,
and technical drawings); motion pictures and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; and
architectural works. “Tangible media” include, but are not limited to, books, periodicals, manuscripts,
phonorecords, films, tapes, and disks.
When used in this agreement, the term “Patent” shall be understood to mean that bundle of rights that
protect inventions or discoveries which constitute any new and useful process, machine,
manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof; new and
ornamental designs for any useful article and plant patents being for the asexual reproduction of a
distinct variety of plant, including cultivated sprouts, mutants, hybrids, and new found seedlings,
other than a tuber propagated plant or plant found in an uncultivated state.
Who Owns the Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property created, made, or originated by a faculty member* shall be the sole and exclusive
property of the faculty member author or inventor, except as he or she may voluntarily choose to
transfer such property, in full, or in part, except as provided below:
a. In accepting grants, fellowships, or other donations for research projects from private
business or industry and from the federal government, the University generally must obligate
itself to such sponsors under invention and patent clauses in the agreement with such sponsors.
In these situations, the sponsor and/or the University may be the owner .
b. If the University has specifically directed the faculty member to engage in research and a
written agreement is entered into between the University and the faculty member, then the
resulting intellectual property shall be owned as set forth in such written agreement.
c. The University shall own copyright in the following three circumstances:
1. The University expressly directs a faculty member to create a specified work, or the
work is created as a specific requirement of employment or as an assigned institutional
duty that may, for example, be included in a written job description or an employment
2. The faculty member author has voluntarily transferred the copyright, in whole or in
part to the institution. Such transfer shall be in the form of a written document signed by
the faculty member author.
3. The University (including without limitation natural persons, employees, agents,
consultants and contractors of the University) contributed to a “joint work” under the
Copyright Act. The University can exercise joint ownership under this clause when it has
contributed specialized services and facilities to the production of the work that goes
beyond what is traditionally provided to faculty members generally in the preparation of
their course materials. Such latter arrangement is to be agreed to in writing, in advance,
and in full conformance with other provisions of this policy.
Intellectual property owned by the University may generally be used by faculty members in the
performance of their duties at the University; provided, however, that the University may prohibit
such use upon written notice to the faculty member (e.g., in the case where a research sponsor has
prohibited such use). Any other faculty member use of intellectual property owned by the University
must be approved by the University. Faculty members are encouraged to negotiate with the
University a contract which clearly delineates the use and dissemination of any of the above work.
Any and all trademarks, service marks, trade names, and other indicia, marks, and designations of the
University are the sole and exclusive property of the University. Such marks are not included under
the term intellectual property and no rights to any of such marks are granted and/or conveyed to any
faculty member hereunder.
WHO MAY USE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY?
Material created for ordinary teaching use in the classroom and in department programs, such as syllabi,
assignments, and tests, shall remain the property of the faculty author, but the University shall be
permitted to use such material for internal instructional, educational, and administrative purposes,
including satisfying requests of accreditation agencies for faculty-authored syllabi and course
In an agreement transferring copyright for such works to a publisher, faculty authors shall provide
rights for the University to use such works for internal instructional, educational, and
DISTRIBUTION OF ANY FUNDS GENERATED
Funds received by the faculty member from the sale, licensing, rental, lease, and/or other disposition
of intellectual property owned by the faculty member author or inventor shall be allocated and
expended as determined solely by the faculty member author or inventor.
Funds received by the University from the sale, licensing, rental, lease, and/or other disposition of
intellectual property owned by the University shall be allocated and expended as determined
solely by the University.
Funds received by the faculty member and the University from the sale of intellectual property owned
jointly by the faculty member and the University shall be allocated and expended in accordance with a
specific agreement. If no written agreement is in place, then the parties agree to submit the issue to
the Intellectual Property Policy and Rights Committee. The parties agree to be bound by the
determination of that committee.
In the event of multiple creators, the creators will determine the allocation their individual shares when
the work is first undertaken. If no written agreement is entered into prior to undertaking the work,
then the parties agree to submit the issue to the Intellectual Property Policy and Rights Committee.
The parties agree to be bound by the determination of that committee.
HOW TO RESOLVE EMERGING ISSUES AND DISPUTES
The Intellectual Property Policy and Rights Committee will be composed of six members equally
apportioned between faculty (elected by the Faculty Senate) and University administration (appointed
by the president or his designee.). The committee members shall elect a chair from among themselves
each year and will convene only when called upon to address issues or resolve disputes regarding
intellectual property rights. At the time of initial appointment or election, each member shall be
designated as serving a one or two, or three-year term, so that the term of one faculty committee
member and one administration member will expire each year and replacements will be appointed or
elected each year. After the first appointment subsequent members shall serve a three-year term,
commencing on July 1 and terminating on June 30. Committee members may serve one additional
A seventh member shall also be included on the Committee each year. The term of the seventh member
shall be for one year commencing on or about July 1 and terminating on the following June 30. The
seventh member shall not vote except for the purpose of breaking a tie vote among the other
members of the Committee. The seventh member may not be a member of the University or faculty.
Such seventh member shall be selected by a majority of the Committee as the first order of business
by the Committee at the start of each term (e.g., at the first meeting of the Committee subsequent to
July 1). It is recognized that the seventh member may not be called upon to attend every meeting of
the Committee and that such seventh member will generally be selected from the local or regional
community (e.g., an educator, business person, academic, politician or other person).
The Committee shall monitor and review technological and legislative changes affecting intellectual
property policy and shall report to relevant faculty and administrative bodies, when such changes
affect existing policies.
The Committee shall serve as a forum for the receipt and discussion of proposals to change existing
institutional policy and/or to provide recommendations for contract negotiations.
In many cases where ideas, inventions, and discoveries are produced within the University, it is difficult to
trace the origin to a specific individual or individuals and often difficult to determine the relative
rights of the individuals and organizations, including the University, involved. Therefore, disputes over
ownership, and its attendant rights, of intellectual property will be decided by the Intellectual
Property Policy and Rights Committee. However, the purpose of this committee is not to address
copyright “fair-use” issues.
The Committee shall make an initial determination of whether the University or any other party has rights
to the invention or other creation, and, if so, the basis and extent of those rights. The Committee shall
also make a determination on resolving competing faculty claims to ownership when the parties
cannot reach an agreement on their own.
The Committee will review the merits of inventions, and other creations, and make recommendations for
the management of the invention, including development, patenting, and exploitation.
If the University and/or the inventors/creators disagree with the determination of the committee, then the
University and/or he/she may appeal to binding arbitration. The cost of the arbitration shall be borne equally
by the University and the creator(s).
*Note: This policy is intended to apply to all members of the university community – faculty, staff,
administration and students.
Policy based on suggestions and guidelines created by
American Association of University Professors, 1012 Fourteenth Street, NW, Suite #500;
Washington, DC 20005
Reviewed by lawyers May, 2002
Recommended to Senate by Faculty Policies Committee May 7, 2002
Last modified: March 15, 2018