Intellectual Property

Number:

4.17

Policy/Operational Procedure Name:

Intellectual Property

Sponsor:

Tom Jaynes
Senior Vice President, Institutional Advancement and Support

Custodian:

Senior Vice President, President’s Office

Effective Date(s):

December 2015

Next Review Date:

Fall 2018

Location:

durhamtech.edu/policies-and-procedures/intellectual-property

Citation:

SACSCOC CS 3.2.14

 

Policy Statement

Durham Technical Community College retains sole ownership of any intellectual property created by a covered individual when the intellectual property is part of the covered individual’s scope of employment or contracted work at the college and when significant college resources have been allocated or used to create the work. The college retains the right to use any intellectual property owned by the college and can, at its sole discretion, allow the covered individual limited or unlimited rights of use.

Purpose

As stated in the college’s mission statement, Durham Technical Community College “champions learning and success, delivers outstanding teaching and service, and develops career skills for today and tomorrow.” As such, the college nurtures innovative ideas to accomplish “great things.” New discoveries and creations, which are subject to or eligible for intellectual property protection, may emerge in the pursuit of learning. The stewardship of such intellectual property, consistent with the college’s mission, is an important responsibility of both the college and all covered Individuals under this policy. The intent of this policy is to define the rights and responsibilities of employees and students, as well as any other individual or entity associated with the college, regarding intellectual property.

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property refers to any work that could lead to copyright or patent (including original authorship of course materials, artistic creations, software programs, research materials, etc.) or any work that increases the value of existing work. Intellectual property as defined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is “creations of the mind - creative works or ideas embodied in a form that can be shared or can enable others to recreate, emulate, or manufacture them. There are four ways to protect intellectual property – patents, trademarks, copyrights or trade secrets.”

Who owns the intellectual property?

Sole Ownership by the College

Durham Technical Community College (the “college”) retains sole ownership of and all rights to any intellectual property created when both of the following criteria are evident:

  1. The work is part of the covered individual’s scope of employment or contracted work at the college; and

  2. Significant college resources have been allocated by the college or used by the covered individual to create the work.

Exceptions to Sole Ownership by the College

The college and the covered individual may jointly retain co-ownership of any intellectual property created by the covered individual if only one of the following criteria are evident:

  1. The work is part of the covered individual’s scope of employment or contracted work at the college; or

  2. Significant college resources have been allocated by the college or used by the covered individual to create the work.

The college retains the right to use any intellectual property jointly owned by the covered individual. Revenue (either planned or realized) from intellectual property created under co-ownership conditions must be disclosed to the Senior Vice President in writing. In such situations, revenue of $5,000 per year or less shall be owned by the covered individual. Revenue in excess of $5,000 per year realized from intellectual property created under co-ownership conditions shall be divided between the college and the agent, with the first $5,000 in revenue owned by the covered individual and the excess divided equally between the college and the covered individual.

A covered individual retains sole ownership of and all rights to any intellectual property created when all of the following criteria are evident:

  • The work is the result of individual initiative or scholarly pursuit; and

  • The work is not the product of a specific contract or assignment made as a result of covered individual’s employment at the college; and

  • The work is neither a regular part nor a routine product of the covered individual’s employment duties or activities; and

  • The work does not involve the use of significant college resources; and

  • Significant college resources have not been allocated to create the work.

Revenue (planned or realized) from intellectual property created under these conditions shall be owned by the covered individual and is not required to be disclosed to the college.

Questions related to intellectual property or inquiries for assistance to determine sole or joint ownership of intellectual property should be directed to the office of the Senior Vice President at the college. Notice of planned or realized revenue related to intellectual property or appeals to decisions related to this policy or procedure should be provided in writing to the Senior Vice President.

How are emerging issues and disputes resolved?

In the event of a dispute regarding the ownership or use of Intellectual Property which arises between the college and a covered individual, the parties shall first endeavor to negotiate the matter between themselves in good faith. If direct negotiations do not resolve the matter, the president will appoint an ad hoc Intellectual Property Task Force, composed of equal numbers of members from the Faculty Association and Staff Association, to make recommendations to the president concerning the disposition of the issue. In cases where a student is involved, a member of the Student Association will also be appointed to the committee. The president will make the final decision on the issue.

Definitions

“College” refers to Durham Technical Community College.

“Covered individual” refers to any person employed by the college, including full-time and part-time faculty, staff, or student workers; individuals using significant college resources; or any student that is enrolled at the college on a full or part-time basis.

“Net revenues” are gross receipts of anything of value including, but not limited to, cash payments, rents, royalties, dividends, earnings, gains and sales proceeds, less all original and ongoing costs and losses paid or incurred by the college and/or the employee, in connection with the creation, marketing, and/or copyrighting or patenting of the intellectual property, including but not limited to, direct costs of obtaining and securing copyrights or patents, indirect costs as determined by the college, and all attorney’s fees.

“Scope of employment” refers to the regular, routine, or specific duties as defined by but not limited to the individual employee’s job description, employment contract, or contractual agreement.

“Significant college resources” refers to the use of college-funded or supported resources including, but not limited to facilities, time, equipment, property, personnel, reassigned time, grant funds, salary supplement, leave with pay, or any other material, human, or financial assistance; use of specialized, technical or experimental equipment; use of computer facilities; or the use of any college facility in a way that leads to an appreciable expenditure of college funds that would not have otherwise occurred. Occasional use of office or classroom space, libraries, or general computer hardware and software will not ordinarily constitute “significant college resources.” The use of college resources is considered significant when it entails a level of use not ordinarily available to all, or virtually all, faculty, staff or students.

“Unlimited rights” means the rights of the college or the covered individual as determined by sole or joint-ownership to use, disclose, reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, perform publicly, and display publicly, in any manner and for any purpose, and to have or permit others to do so.