Intellectual Property Policy

Centenary College of Louisiana encourages its faculty, staff and students to produce works broadly defined as intellectual property. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that these products are identified and protected in ways that support the rights of the creators, authors and inventors.

  1. Definition: The term “intellectual property” in this document refers to the creative and scholarly research, works, and inventions of the faculty, staff, students and consultants and independent contractors.

  2. Need: The products of intellectual property may create rights and interests that apply in varying and potentially conflicting ways to the creator, author, inventor, sponsor, College and general public. Different rights may apply to a single work (for example, the right to distribute and the right to receive royalties) and interested parties or entities may hold claim to different rights. This intellectual property policy outlines how these rights and interests are to be distributed.

  3. Types of Intellectual Property: Intellectual property shall consist of the following:

    • Copyrightable material produced from creative and scholarly activity such as texts in the form of manuscripts, manuals, books and articles; videos and films; music in the form of sound recordings, lyrics and scores; print, photographic and electronic images; works of art; and computer software in the form of programs, databases, web pages and courseware;

    • Patentable works including the patents for processes, machines, manufactures or compositions of matter; devices; and software not eligible under the category of copyrightable material;

    • Trademarked materials adopted by the College to identify and distinguish it from others such as words, names, symbols, logos, domain names, trade dress, slogans and distinctive combinations thereof;

    • Trade Secrets.

  4. Ownership and Use of Intellectual Policy

    General Rule:
    In order to encourage activity among its faculty, staff and students that results in the production of original works of benefit to society, it is the general policy of Centenary College that Intellectual Property shall remain the property of the owner or creator. Circumstances that deviate from this general rule are set forth below.

    • Retention of Rights: Although ownership of intellectual property developed by College employees using College resources generally will be retained by the owner or creator, employees shall assign to the College a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use the intellectual property to further the College’s academic mission, except where the creator is required by law or contract to assign the rights to the Intellectual Property to a third party, such as a publisher.

    • “Work for Hire”: Federal copyright law defines a “work for hire” as one “prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment.” Therefore, any work produced by non-faculty employees, including student employees and work-study students, in the performance of their assigned duties, whether specifically directed to do so or not, will be considered a “work for hire” and produced and owned by the College. Work produced by students as part of faculty-supervised or independent research will not be considered “work for hire” for the purposes of this policy.

    • Copyrightable and Patentable Subject Matter: The College shall assert ownership rights to copyrightable and patentable Intellectual Property developed under any of the following circumstances:

      • Rights were assigned to the College as part of an externally sponsored research program or other agreement which funded development of the Intellectual Property.

      • Creation of the Intellectual Property follows from College funding intentionally directed toward its development or requires use of College resources such as facilities or equipment purchased primarily with the intention of developing copyrightable or patentable Intellectual Property, where an agreement between the College and the creator to that effect exists.

      • Creation of the Intellectual Property follows from non-routine use of College materials, equipment or personnel. For the purposes of this policy, “non-routine use” refers to the extensive and unreimbursed use of College space and resources that are not ordinarily used in this manner in the College’s educational or instructional endeavors. Examples of equipment routinely used by members of the College community include assigned offices, personal computers, and library materials or facilities.

      • The College assigned or directed the creator to develop the Intellectual Property.

      • The Intellectual Property was developed by non-faculty employees in the course of their job duties and constitutes work-for-hire under federal law.

    • Non-copyrightable and Non-Patentable Intellectual Property: The College shall assert ownership rights to non-copyrightable and non-patentable Intellectual Property developed under any of the following circumstances:

      • Rights were assigned to the College as part of an externally sponsored research program or other agreement which funded development of the Intellectual Property.

      • Creation of the Intellectual Property follows from College funding intentionally directed toward its development or requires use of College resources such as facilities or equipment purchased primarily with the intention of developing non-copyrightable or non-patentable Intellectual Property, where an agreement between the College and the creator to that effect exists.

      • Creation of the Intellectual Property follows from non-routine use of College materials, equipment or personnel. For the purposes of this policy, “non-routine use” refers to the extensive and unreimbursed use of College space and resources that are not ordinarily used in this manner in the College’s educational or instructional endeavors. Examples of equipment routinely used by members of the College community include assigned offices, personal computers, and library materials or facilities.

      • The College assigned or directed the creator to develop the Intellectual Property.

      • The Intellectual Property was developed by non-faculty employees in the course of their job duties and constitutes work-for-hire under federal law.

    • Intellectual Property Developed Under Sponsored Research Agreements: Ownership of Intellectual Property developed as part of an agreement with any sponsor, including the College, will be determined by the provisions of that agreement. Faculty members or other employees shall consult with the Office of the Provost before finalizing any sponsored research agreements with outside agencies. In the absence of such an agreement, the other provisions of this Policy will determine ownership.

    • Special Agreement: In order to maintain the encouragement of creativity and inventiveness as the overriding principle of this Intellectual Property Policy, the College reserves the right to apply this policy, without prejudice to future application, on a case-by-case basis to allow some flexibility. The College especially encourages faculty to negotiate special agreements containing terms that promote and facilitate involvement of student researchers. Ownership and use of materials developed under a special agreement between the College and the creator/author will be governed by the details of that agreement.

  5. Responsibility for Disclosure

    Patentable Intellectual Property: Because publication of an idea eligible for patent as Intellectual Property begins the clock running on a time restriction for filing a patent in the United States and bars application for a patent in every other country in the world, prompt disclosure of the intent to create patentable intellectual property is essential. College personnel who alone or in association with other agents or agencies create or intend to create patentable material with non-routine, extraordinary or directed use of College resources shall immediately disclose such activity to the Office of the Provost (or designee). This disclosure shall be made as soon as it can be reasonably concluded patentable material has been or will be created. Disclosure shall be made sufficiently in advance of any publications, presentations, or other public announcements to allow for sufficient actions to protect the rights of ownership of the creator and the College as they pertain to the Intellectual Property.

    Other Intellectual Property: Centenary College of Louisiana conforms to the academic tradition of giving faculty members the right to retain ownership of their Intellectual Property. Unless Intellectual Property was developed under one of the qualifying conditions listed in this policy requiring prompt disclosure, faculty members are not obligated to disclose the creation of Intellectual Property even when the product might have commercial value. Nevertheless, Faculty are encouraged to disclose protectable material with commercial value to the extent that they desire assistance in copyright protection and marketing in exchange for profit sharing with the College. If faculty members do commercialize Intellectual Property that they own, the College will expect a share of the proceeds as described below. All disclosures shall be made to the Office of the Provost.

  6. Income

    • Intellectual Property Owned by the College: When the College retains ownership rights to Intellectual Property developed under the circumstances specified in this policy, the income shall be distributed as follows:

      • The College will first deduct any direct expenses incurred by it in connection with the initial patenting and commercialization of the property. Any such expenses incurred by the individual creator with the prior approval of the College will also be deducted and reimbursed to the creator. Determination of which party or parties will bear the costs of initial patenting and commercialization of Intellectual Property will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

      • Unless there is some prior written agreement between the College and the employee, the College will then pay and distribute the income remaining after payment of direct expenses in the following manner:

        • fifty percent (50%) to the creator;

        • twenty percent (20%) to the creator’s academic division;

        • thirty percent (30%) to the College to be administered by the office of the Provost in support of research

    • Intellectual Property Owned by an Individual Employee: When the College does not retain ownership rights because the specific circumstances in this policy do not apply, but the creator has made some routine use of the College’s materials, equipment, or personnel, then the individual creator may, at his or her own expense, patent and/or commercialize the Intellectual Property. In such cases, ten percent (10%) of the proceeds from the commercialization shall be remitted to the College, in recognition of the routine use of College facilities. The President may decide that such payment be reduced or eliminated if it appears that a 10% contribution is excessive under the circumstances.

    • Accounting: No matter who retains ownership of the Intellectual Property at issue, an appropriate accounting of the costs and proceeds will be provided by the appropriate parties.

    • Equity: The College and/or the individual creator may, in appropriate circumstances, take equity positions in companies licensed to market or use Intellectual Property.

  7. Administration

    Office of the Provost: The Intellectual Property Policy will be administered by the Office of the Provost. The stated terms and provisions of the policy will be interpreted and applied by the Provost with the review and approval of the President.

    Intellectual Property Review: To assist the Provost with implementation of this policy, the functions of (1) reviewing policy provisions as needed but at least once annually and submitting recommendations for change or amendments to the Provost; and (2) reviewing other issues as requested by the Provost or other interested persons shall fall to the Economic Policy Committee.

    Dispute Resolution: Disputes over the application or interpretation of this policy will be settled by an ad hoc committee formed to consider the disputed issues and render a decision. This ad hoc committee will consist of three members from the College community: one selected by the employee(s) engaged in the dispute; one chosen by the College administration; and one appointed by the Faculty Coordinating Council and approved by both other members of the ad hoc committee. This ad hoc dispute resolution committee may conduct a private hearing and initiate other reasonable and necessary procedures to reach a written majority decision within sixty (60) days of the committee’s formation. Parties dissatisfied with the decision of the dispute resolution committee may appeal to the President of the College. The decision of the President shall be final and non-appealable.

    Changes to the Policy: The College reserves the right to change the policy, but no changes will be made without consultation with the Economic Policy Committee and/or other appropriate faculty representation.

  8. Use of Centenary name and/or logos

    Faculty, staff and students may use the College name and logos to identify themselves (Jane Doe, Professor of Something, Centenary College of Louisiana). Provided that, only with the express written permission of the Vice President for External Relations may the College name and logos be used by individuals or entities in a manner that implies College endorsement or responsibility for particular activities, products, or publications for commercial purposes or promotion of individuals or groups.

    Acknowledgement: This policy borrows extensively from or is inspired by the Centre College Policy on Intellectual Property, Birmingham-Southern College Policy on Intellectual Property, Mary Baldwin College Policy on Intellectual Property, A Primer on Intellectual Property by NCURA, Duke University’s Faculty Handbook, and policies from other, similar institutions.

    Approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, August, 2007.

    Last updated August 21, 2007.

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