Policy

The University recognizes that 

  1. Patentpoliciesservetodocumenttherightsandequitiesoftheoriginator,University, sponsor, and society. Such policies also provide an incentive to creative intellectual effort and research through royalty arrangements.

  2. PatentrightsareprotectedbytheConstitutionandthelawsoftheUnitedStatesto promote the progress of science and the arts by securing for limited times exclusive rights to inventions and to control the manufacture, use, and sale of individual inventions for a specific period of years.

  3. The progress of science and the arts may be benefited by use of the established patent system.

  4. Inventions eligible for patent, created pursuant to University objectives, should be made available to the public under conditions which promote their effective use.

  5. Incentiveandrecognitionoffaculty,staff,andstudentsisprovidedbyprotectingthe individual's rights to proceeds from inventions.

Definitions

Inventions: All discoveries, programs, processes, methods, products or combinations, whether already patented or eligible for patent at any time, under the Federal Patent Act.

University Personnel: Part-time and full-time members of the faculty, staff, all other agents and employees, and students of the University.

Regulations

  1. PatentrightscreatedbytheConstitutionandthelawsoftheUnitedStatespromote the progress of science and the arts by securing for limited times the exclusive rights for an individual's control of the manufacture, use, and sale of an invention for a period of 17 years. Patents are non-renewable after the initial 17-year period.
  2. AllUniversitypersonnel,inaccordancewiththeUniversity'spolicyofpromoting creative and scholarly activities, are free to develop, create, and patent inventions.
  3. InventionseligibleforpatentproducedbyUniversitypersonnel,exceptasnotedin paragraph "E" below, are the property of the creator of that invention. All rights afforded patent owners under the provisions of the Federal Patent Act reside with the creator unless he or she has assigned or licensed any of the enumerated rights. Decisions relative to registering these inventions with the United States Patent Office are left to the individual creator.
  4. Patent rights in works specifically commissioned by the University shall belong to the University. As the patent right owner, the University shall make decisions relative to registering commissioned works. Royalties for University-commissioned patented inventions may be shared by the University and the creator(s) of the invention. Disputes arising over royalty sharing shall be referred to the University Research Committee, which will in turn recommend to the President.
  5. Allnoncommissionedpatentableinventions,developedwiththesignificantuseof funds, facilities or equipment administered by the University, shall be the property of the University. However, the University recognizes and reaffirms the traditional academic freedom of its faculty, staff, and students. In keeping with this philosophy, the University does not construe the provision of office or library facilities as constituting significant use of University facilities nor does it construe the payment of salary as constituting significant use of University funds, except for those situations where the funds, facilities, or equipment are paid specifically to support the development of such invention(s).
  6. Faculty, staff, and students shall own all rights to patented inventions prepared at their initiative, including all royalties from the use of such inventions except as noted in paragraph "E" above.
  7. Inventions produced under a specific contract or grant agreement between the University and a governmental or other agency, or any other organization, are subject to the terms of the contract or grant for purposes of patent rights. If patent rights ownership is not specified, such rights shall reside with the creator(s).
  8. Where University service units are involved with the production of a substantially completed patentable product, royalties shall be distributed between the patent owner and the University as provided in a written agreement prior to completion. However, when a written agreement has not been completed, the distribution of royalties will be evenly distributed between the creator and the University. If disputes arise, the matter shall be referred to the University Research Committee, which will in turn recommend to the President.
  9. The University Research Committee, as noted above, will investigate disputes and make recommendations to the President. The committee's responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to, disputes concerning ownership of University commissioned inventions; terms of commissions; distributions of royalties for University-produced works; and distribution of royalties for inventions that may have necessitated specific and unusual University expenses.