3.139 Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS GENERAL STATEMENT
Date Adopted/Most Recent Revision: 11/07/03
  1. Introduction
    The public interest is best served by creating an intellectual environment whereby creative efforts and innovations can be encouraged and rewarded, while retaining for the University and its learning communities reasonable access to, and use of, the intellectual property, for the creation of which the University has provided assistance. The University supports the development, production, and dissemination of intellectual property of its faculty.

  2. Relevant Definitions

    1. Copyright
      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.

    2. Creators
      Creators are defined as faculty, staff, and other persons employed by Midwestern State University, whether full or part-time; visiting faculty and researchers; and any other persons, including students, who create or discover applicable intellectual property using University resources.

    3. Patent
      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 living or non-living 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.

    4. Tangible Media
      Tangible media include, but are not limited to books, periodicals, manuscripts, phono records, films, tapes, and disks.

    5. Technology
      Technology includes discoveries, innovations, inventions or trade secrets.

    6. University
      University shall refer to Midwestern State University.

    7. University Resources
      University resources are defined as all tangible resources provided by Midwestern State University to Creators, including office, lab and studio space and equipment; computer hardware, software, and support; secretarial service; research; teaching and lab assistants; supplies; utilities; funding for research and teaching activities; travel, and other funding and reimbursement. University resources do not include salary, insurance, or retirement plan contributions paid to, or for the benefit of, Creators.

    8. Works of Authorship
      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.

  3. Intellectual Property Ownership

    1. Intellectual property, whether technology or works of authorship, created, made or originated by a faculty member shall be the sole and exclusive property of the Creator except as he/she may voluntarily choose to transfer in full, or in part. Although the previous statement applies to the patent and copyright areas, a tradition exists in academe of the arrangement of agreements between faculty inventors and the University which detail a means of sharing income from commercial application of patented inventions.
    2. In the instance that the Creator maintains ownership of the technology or work of authorship, the Creator shall be responsible for all costs related to the filing of patents and copyrights.
    3. The University shall own copyright in the following three (3) circumstances:

      1. The University expressly contracts with a Creator to create a specified work. The contract shall state that the University shall own the work.
      2. The Creator has voluntarily transferred the copyright, in whole or in part, to the University. Such transfer shall be in the form of a written document signed by the Creator.
      3. The University has contributed to a "joint work" under the Copyright Act. The University can exercise joint ownership under this clause when it has contributed services and facilities to the production of the work that go beyond what is traditionally provided to faculty members generally in the preparation of their course materials. Such arrangement is to be agreed to in writing, in advance, and in full conformance with other provisions of this agreement.
    4. In the instance that the University maintains ownership of the technology or work of authorship, the University shall be responsible for all costs related to the filing of patents and copyrights.
    5. Disclosure
      If a University employed student, staff or faculty member (Creator) conceives or practices any technology or work of authorship using in any part of the conception or practice any University resources, that person must disclose such technology or work of authorship to the Provost as soon as practicable after the date of first conception or discovery. Certain research agreements may require disclosure, and in such a case, a person shall disclose technology in accordance with the agreement. Licensing of this technology or work of authorship shall be the responsibility of the Creator or the University, depending on the ownership of the intellectual property (see above for ownership issues). Disputes regarding licensing shall be referred to the Intellectual Property Policy and Rights Committee (see C).

    6. Use of Intellectual Property
      Material created for ordinary teaching use in the classroom and in academic programs, such as syllabi, assignments, and tests, shall remain the property of the Creator, 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 descriptions. In an agreement transferring copyright for such works to a publisher, Creators should provide rights for the University to use such works for internal instructional, educational, and administrative purposes.

    7. Textbook Adoption
      Any commercially printed workbook, textbook, or material used by students and authored or co-authored by Midwestern State University faculty members must be approved by the Academic Council. The College Dean will show in writing that the adoption is realistically priced and has been properly evaluated. A review of any adoption will be made by the College Council concerned every three (3) years. All subsequent adoptions of this work will be approved by the Academic Council.

    8. License for Use of Material Made Available for the Use of the University

      1. Many faculty, staff, and students create technology or works of authorship which is/are the subject of intellectual property protection and which they voluntarily make available for the use of the University (during the Creator's tenure at the University) without expectation of further compensation. When the Creator leaves the University, regardless of the reason for the departure, the University should contract with the Creator for continued use of the work if such is desired.
      2. The University shall retain a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use such material made available for the use of the University, provided that significant contributions of the Creator(s) are acknowledged. The University shall not exploit the work outside of the university or for profit.
    9. Licenses for Non-Commercial Research and Teaching Within the University
      Many faculty, staff, and students experience costs and practical inconvenience in obtaining permission to use material that is the subject of intellectual property protection for research and teaching. Individuals are therefore encouraged to seek from publishers and other persons to whom Creators assign rights in their intellectual property, a non-exclusive, royalty-free license for their own non-commercial research and teaching and, where possible, for anyone within the University to use that intellectual property for non-commercial research and teaching.

    10. Distribution of Any Funds Generated.

      1. Funds received by the Creator from the sale of intellectual property, whether technology or works of authorship owned by the Creator, shall be allocated and expended as determined solely by the Creator.
      2. Funds received by the University from the sale of intellectual property owned by the University shall be allocated and expended as determined solely by the University.
      3. Funds received by the Creator and the University from the sale of intellectual property owned jointly by the Creator and the University shall be allocated and expended in accordance with a specific agreement between said Creator and the University.
    11. Business Participation
      The University does not discourage persons subject to this policy from participating in the commercial development and/or exploitation of intellectual property, whether technology or works of authorship. A person shall not engage in business participation if such participation would violate state or federal law or regulation. If not in violation of regulations involved in the funding of research, the Creator(s) may participate in the equity of a business related to the production and/or distribution of the technology or work of authorship. If not in violation of regulations involved in the funding of research, the Creator(s) may participate in the management of a business related to the development of the Creator's technology or work of authorship.

  4. Resolution of Emerging Issues and Disputes

    1. The Intellectual Property Policy and Rights Committee will be composed of six (6) faculty members (each elected by one college) and three (3) administration members (appointed by the President). The Committee members shall elect a chair from among themselves each year. The chair shall be a full, voting member of the Committee. At the time of the initial appointment or election, each member shall be designated as serving a one, two, or three-year term so that the term of two (2) faculty committee members and one (1) administration member's term will expire each year and their replacements elected/appointed each year. After the establishment of the committee, subsequent members shall serve a three-year term, commencing on September 1, and terminating on August 31. Committee members may serve two (2) consecutive three-year terms.
    2. The Committee shall monitor and review technological and legislative changes affecting intellectual property rights policy and shall report to relevant faculty and administrative bodies when such changes affect existing policies.
    3. 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.
    4. Disputes over ownership, and its attendant rights, of intellectual property will be decided by the Intellectual Property Policy and Rights Committee.
    5. 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 convey their determinations to the President for his/her final disposition.
    6. If the Creators disagree with the determination of the Committee or the President, they may appeal to binding arbitration.
  5. Implementation

    1. This policy shall not apply to existing written agreements: between the University and/or Creator(s) and any external organization or individual, concerning the development, legal protection, or commercialization of specific intellectual property, and entered into prior to the date on which this Policy is adopted by the Board of Regents.
    2. If an existing written agreement is renewed, revised, or amended after the date on which this policy is adopted by the Board of Regents, reasonable attempts shall be made to conform such agreement with the requirements of this policy as of the date on which it is renewed, revised, or amended.
    3. The University shall inform all persons subject to this policy of its terms as soon as efficiently possible after its adoption and at regular intervals thereafter.