Upon review of the disclosure, the University Intellectual Property Committee (UIPC), as described in Section X of this Policy will determine whether the invention shall be classified as an incidental, supported, or assigned invention. Ownership will be dependent upon such classification. Student inventions are addressed separately below.
1. Incidental Inventions.
An incidental invention is defined as an invention that is conceived or reduced to practice in whole or in part through an incidental use of space, facilities, materials or other resources provided by or through the University. For the purposes of this policy examples of incidental use of space, facilities, materials or other resources. includes the use of an office, the library and a University computer.
Incidental inventions generally are owned by the inventor unless voluntarily assigned by the inventor to the University. Ownership of incidental inventions is subject to any rights held by the University as required by this policy. Federally-funded inventions, whether in whole or in part, shall not be considered to be incidental inventions.
2. Supported Inventions.
A supported invention is defined as an invention conceived or reduced to practice, in whole or in part, with the substantial support of the University. This would include the use of: University intellectual property; laboratories or other research-related facilities, equipment or supplies, provided by the University for academic purposes; University funding of grants or contracts administered by the University; dedicated services provided by University employees, consultants, vendors, contractors, students, post-doctoral scholars or fellows; other special financial assistance; or extensive use of shared facilities.
In recognition that the determination of non-incidental use of University resources; depends, in part, on facilities that are customarily accessible to similarly situated faculty members, non-faculty academic employees, staff members and student-employees, the standards may vary from one department to another. Final determination will be made by the Provost in consultation with the UIPC.
Where an inventor believes that a supported invention serves society by free and open sharing with the public domain, the inventor may choose to forgo University support related to the patent process by so indicating in the Invention Disclosure Form. In such cases, the University will release the invention to the inventor, subject to Section III of this Policy, upon execution by the inventor of an agreement that the inventor will not in any way commercialize or otherwise financially profit from the invention at any time in the future. If the inventor later determines that commercialization is appropriate, all such rights would be governed by this Policy.
The University is the rightful owner of the commercial rights in supported inventions, subject to the allocation/royalty sharing between the University and the inventor set forth in Section VII. below.
Ownership of supported inventions that involve an external sponsor is governed by the written agreement between the University and the external sponsor. Absent any written agreement granting ownership to the external sponsor, ownership of the supported invention shall remain with the University.
3. Assigned Inventions.
An assigned invention is defined as an invention conceived or reduced to practice in whole or in part as a result of activities related to the inventor’s assigned employment responsibilities, above and beyond normal contracted duties to the university such as teaching, service and research activities. This is intended to address situations where a faculty or staff member is asked to undertake a particular project as part of their employment and an invention results from that project. Assigned inventions are owned by the University, subject to the allocation/royalty sharing between the University and the inventor set forth in Section VII. below.
4. Student Inventions.
The University does not assert any ownership rights to inventions by student inventors developed as part of normal educational activities. However, and consistent with the purpose of this policy as it applies to other members of the University community, the University retains ownership rights where the invention:
- is a supported invention;
- results from a student’s employment with the University;
- involves faculty-mentored academic year or summer research (e.g., undergraduate research projects, thesis research, and faculty-mentored independent projects) or other similar contributions by faculty/staff;
- is by a student who is also an employee of an entity sponsoring the work; or
- is, akin to an assigned invention, specifically commissioned by the University or is part of a larger University project.