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Intellectual Property and Shared Royalties Policy

Intellectual Property and Shared Royalties Policy

Authority: 
Academic and Student Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
Revised September 12, 2007
In F/S Handbook: 
yes

McNeese State University recognizes the need for and desirability of encouraging the broad utilization of the results of academic research by bringing innovative findings to practical application. The primary purpose of this Intellectual Property Policy is to provide the necessary protections and incentives to encourage both the discovery and development of new knowledge and its transfer for the public benefit; a secondary purpose is to enhance the generation of revenue for the home institutions and the creators.

McNeese State University acknowledges that research and scholarship should be encouraged without regard to potential gain from licensing fees, royalties, or other income; however, the System also recognizes that intellectual properties and discoveries may arise from the activities of faculty, staff, and students in the course of the duties of through the use, by any person, of institutional resources such as facilities, equipment, or funds. The policies governing the administration of such intellectual properties should provide adequate recognition and incentive to creators and, at the same time, ensure that the System institutions will share in the rights pertaining to intellectual properties in which they have equity. McNeese is committed to assist faculty and other researchers in properly disclosing scholarly work, in complying with applicable laws and formal agreements, and in gaining the protection available under the United States laws governing patents, copyrights, trademarks, and other appropriate provisions.

II. OBJECTIVES

The University of Louisiana System's Intellectual Property Policy provides the following objectives for the System institutions as they develop and implement their intellectual property policies in compliance with applicable state and federal guidelines:

  1. To encourage research and scholarship as creative academic endeavors while recognizing that commercially valuable intellectual properties may result from such endeavors;
  2. To delineate procedures to encourage creators to report discoveries with broad commercial potential and public benefit and to assist them, while at the same time safeguarding the interests of all concerned parties;
  3. To make intellectual property developed in the course of academic research available to the public under conditions that will promote its effective and timely use and development;
  4. To optimize the environment and incentives for research and scholarly activity and for the creation of new knowledge in the System institutions;
  5. To ensure that the educational mission of the University of Louisiana System and its institutions is reinforced.

III. DEFINITIONS/BACKGROUND

The following definitions shall govern throughout the University of Louisiana System Intellectual Property Policy.

  1. Intellectual Property shall be defined as inventions, discoveries, knowhow, show-how, processes, unique materials, copyrightable works, original data, and other creative or artistic works that have value. Intellectual property includes that which is protectable by statute or legislation, such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, service marks, trade secrets, mask works, and plant variety protection certificates. It also includes the physical embodiments of intellectual effort, for example, models, machines, devices, designs, apparatus, instrumentation, circuits, computer programs and visualizations, biological materials, chemicals, other compositions of matter, plants, and records of research.
  2. Traditional Academic Copyrightable Works shall be defined as a subset of copyrightable works created independently and at the creator's initiative for traditional academic purposes. Examples include class notes (in whatever form, e.g., handouts, internet posting); books, theses and dissertations; articles; non-fiction, fiction, and poems; musical works; dramatic works including any accompanying music; pantomimes and choreographic works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; or other works of artistic imagination that are not created as an institutional initiative. Regarding websites, the author of each web page is responsible for the content of that page and is expected to abide by System and university policies as well as local, state, and federal laws.
  3. Creator shall be defined as an individual or group of individuals who make, conceive, reduce to practice, author, or otherwise make a substantive intellectual contribution to the creation of intellectual property. "Creator" shall include, but not be limited to, faculty, professional staff, administrative and support staff, and students. "Creator" shall also include the definition of "inventor" as used in the U.S. patent law and the definition of "author" as used in the U.S. Copyright Act.
  4. Institution Resources Usually and Customarily Provided shall include such support as office space, library facilities, ordinary access to computers and networks, or salary and shall be described in this policy as either "incidental" or "significant." The phrase does not include use of students or employees as support staff to develop the work, or substantial use of specialized or unique facilities and equipment, or other special subventions provided by the institution unless approved as an exception.
  5. Technical Works shall include intellectual properties that are of a scientific, engineering, or technical nature such as patentable or unpatenable inventions (including biological materials), computer software, and institution collections.
  6. Scholarly Works shall include all intellectual properties not covered in Technical Works that are of an artistic, scholarly, instructional, or entertainment nature.
  7. Computer Software shall include one or more computer programs existing in any form or any associated operational procedures, manuals, or other documentation, whether protectable or protected by patent or copyright.
  8. System Institutions shall include Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and University of Louisiana at Monroe.

IV. RIGHTS TO OWNERSHIP/DISCLOSURES

A. Overview
System institutions have ownership of intellectual property created (a) by an employee within the scope of his or her employment, (b) by an employee who is hired or commissioned to create a specific work, (c) when more than incidental use of institution resources usually and customarily provided occurs, or (d) when the intellectual property results from research supported by federal funds or third-party sponsorship. Institutions shall not assert ownership of intellectual property unrelated to job responsibilities and where only incidental use of institution resources usually and customarily provided has occurred, nor do they have ownership of traditional academic copyrightable works. (See principles below; institutions do have the right to recover costs and/or right to use the work.) Joint ownership may occur under certain circumstances such as when scholarly works involve the services of other institution employees (e.g., development of multi-media courseware).

B. Principles
1. This policy shall apply to all persons employed by System institutions, to anyone using institution facilities under the supervision of institution personnel, to undergraduates, and to graduate students.

2. Institutions may assert ownership in intellectual property of all types (including, but not limited to, any invention, discovery, trade secret, technology, scientific or technological development, and computer software) regardless of whether the property is subject to protection under patent, trademark, copyright, or other laws, except as stipulated in Sections 3, 4, 5, and 6 which will follow.

3. Institutions may assert their interest in intellectual property related to the creator's academic or professional field, regardless of the medium of expression. Institutions shall have ownership of all intellectual property created by persons under the conditions stated below:

(a) if intellectual property is created by an employee within the specific scope of employment; or
(b) if intellectual property is created with the use of institution facilities usually and customarily provided; or
(c) if intellectual property is commissioned by the institution pursuant to a signed contract; or
(d) if intellectual property is created by a person who was hired specifically, or is required as part of his or
her job responsibilities, to produce it; or
(e) if intellectual property fits within one of the nine categories of works considered "works for hire" under
copyright law1; or
(f) if intellectual property results from research supported by federal funds or third-party sponsorship.

NOTE: Works related to an employee's job responsibilities, even if he or she is not specifically requested to create them, will belong to the institution as works-for-hire. A copyright work is related to an employee's job responsibilities if it is the kind of work an employee is employed to do and if the work is done, at least in part, for use at work or for use by fellow employees, the employer, or the employee's clients. Use of personal time or other facilities to create the work will not change its basic nature if the work is related to the creator's job as described above. Works that have nothing to do with job duties will remain the property of the creator, so long as he or she makes no more than the incidental use of institution facilities usually and customarily provided.

4. Institutions shall not have ownership when the creator is a student, professional, faculty, or non-faculty researcher and the intellectual property is a traditional academic copyrightable work in the creator's field of experience. Even though such a work may be within the scope of employment, it is the property of the creator unless it is a scholarly work (a) created by someone who was specifically hired or required to create it or (b) commissioned by the institution. In either of these cases, the institution, not the creator, will own the intellectual property.

NOTE: The use of the terms "professionals" and "researcher," together with faculty members and students,
is intended to encompass all those individuals who routinely create scholarly works (e.g., educational,
artistic, musical, literary, or architectural work). For example, if a library administrator writes a book about
Louisiana History, his or her field of expertise, the institution should not assert ownership of the book.

5. In the case of traditional academic copyrightable work that involves significant institutional resource contributions, the institution shall reserve the right to secure rights (including but not limited to joint ownership), for example, to use the work and to recover its investment, in a contract with the creator. If a project involves the use of significant institutional resources, the creator and the institution shall agree before the project begins on the use of facilities, allocation of rights to use the work, and recovery of expenses and/or sharing of benefits from commercialization of the work.

NOTE: Institutions' main concerns with traditional academic copyrightable works owned by professionals, faculty, non-faculty researchers, and students should be to allocate and recover resources that may be contributed to the creation of such works.

6. In addition to traditional academic copyrightable work created by professional, faculty, researcher, or student creators in their field of expertise, a creator shall own intellectual property under the following conditions:
(a) if it is unrelated to the creator's job responsibilities and the creator made no more than incidental use of institution resources usually and customarily provided; or
b) if it is intellectual property that has been released to the creator in accordance with institution policy.