The institution’s policies are clear concerning ownership of materials, compensation, copyright issues, and the use of revenue derived from the creation and production of all intellectual property.
  These policies apply to students, faculty, and staff.  

Compliance Judgment:  In compliance

Narrative

Overview

East Carolina University's (hereafter, ECU or the institution) policies and procedures governing intellectual property rights for faculty, staff and students are clear with regard to use and ownership of patentable and copyrightable materials.  These policies and procedures also address commercialization activities of non-patentable materials.  In addition, the policies and procedures articulate practices for distribution of revenue streams earned from licensing intellectual property rights. 

The intellectual property policies and procedures apply to all University employees, including but not limited to 1) employees Exempt from the State Personnel Act (EPA) including all faculty who engage in face-to-face and online instruction and non-teaching administrative employees; 2) staff employees, including employees subject to the State Personnel Act (SPA); 3) clinical support services employees (CSS); 4) student employees, and; 5) University volunteers.  The policies and procedures are also a condition of enrollment and attendance by students.

This report will address the following issues as they relate to East Carolina University’s intellectual property policies and procedures and will demonstrate the distribution of the policies and procedures among ECU’s constituents. Examples of the application of these policies are also provided.

Definition of Intellectual Property Rights at East Carolina University

 
East Carolina University intellectual property rights are defined in its Patent Procedures and Copyright Policy and is consistent with the Patent Policy of the University of North Carolina (Part 500.2 of the University of North Carolina Policy Manual). The Office of Technology Transfer also offers primers and additional tutorials to further explain intellectual property rights.  The University's policies are in compliance with Bayh-Dole 35 USC 200–212 for federally sponsored research.

 
Intellectual property, whether patentable or not, in the form of inventions or discoveries, is defined as any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter; or any new and useful improvement thereof, including compounds, prototypes, biological materials, software, complex multimedia works and tangible research results. The principal rights governing ownership and disposition of inventions and discoveries are derived primarily from Federal legislation.

Copyrightable intellectual property, defined as original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, includes literary works; musical works (including accompanying words); dramatic works (including accompanying music); pantomimes and choreographic works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; motion picture and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; and architectural works.

 

Ownership and Distribution of Royalties and Licensing Income

 

The University Patent Procedures states that intellectual property (whether patentable or not), which is developed with University time and resources, is owned by the University.  Every inventor associated with the University, including faculty, staff, and students, is responsible for disclosing inventions to the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT).  In addition to University policy and information disseminated through OTT workshops and newsletters, Associate Deans for Research are regularly apprised of this requirement and advised to notify OTT when they become aware of an invention developed within their school.  Further, each school and college has a representative on the University Committee on Intellectual Property / Patents.  Among their duties, members of the Committee are charged with identifying new inventions within their schools / colleges and directing the inventors to OTT.  The University Committee on Intellectual Property / Patents, chaired by the Director of the Office of Technology Transfer, assesses University inventions to determine whether the institution should pursue patent protection, commercialize an invention without the benefit of patent protection, or release an invention to the inventor(s) based on a review of technical, market and patentability factors.  The University is obligated to work in good faith with inventors to diligently explore inventions for patent and commercialization efforts and will release its intellectual property rights to the inventor if it is unlikely or unable to successfully patent or commercialize a product.  A list of available technologies for licensing is provided on the OTT Web Site.

 

The University Copyright Policy states that ownership of traditional (scholarly) works will remain with the creator / author who is a faculty or non-teaching administrative employee (EPA), provided that the work does not require the use of exceptional university resources and is not the result of directed or sponsored activities.  Works created by staff or student employees are considered “works made for hire” and are owned by the University.  Works created by students as a requirement of their degree program and  which have not required exceptional use of university resources remain the property of the student.    

The Patent Procedures and Copyright Policy contain policies on sharing of revenue earned from licensing activities (royalties and other forms of income) with inventors, creators and authors of University intellectual property (“Inventors”).  See the Faculty Manual Part VII, Section II.E (Revenue Sharing) of the University Patent Procedures for the distribution formula.  The Inventor’s portion of income distribution is shared equally among all Inventors, regardless of whether they are faculty, staff, or students, unless the Inventors agree in writing to a different distribution formula.

Policies Governing Use of Intellectual Property

In support of its fundamental mission to advance knowledge for public benefit, the University implements principles that allow its faculty and students to pursue research and scholarly activities and disseminate outcomes in the form of scholarly publications and presentations.   In the case of research outcomes that have been licensed to commercial entities, the University maintains a non-exclusive right to such intellectual property for research and educational purposes.  The University also supports the Fair Use doctrine of U.S. Copyright law for instructional activities. Where the institution recognizes or releases ownership of copyright to faculty, staff, and student creators/authors (except when works are directed, fall under the terms of a sponsored program, or involve substantial use of institutional resources), the institution reserves a shop right to use such work for its own instructional purposes.  (See Copyright Ownership under Copyright Policy).  Where the institution releases ownership of inventions to inventors, the University reserves a shop right to use such invention for research and instructional purposes.

Notification and Dissemination of Intellectual Property Policies and Procedures

University employees are informed about ECU’s procedures and policies related to intellectual property through posting on web sites for the Office of Technology Transfer and the University Faculty Manual.  The policies and procedures will also be available in the new East Carolina University Policy Manual (Policy, Regulations and Rules, PRR).  To compel reading and acknowledgement of University intellectual property procedures and policies, all new employees are required to acknowledge in writing that they have read and will comply with such procedures and policies (Patent Agreement & Assignment).  These records are maintained with the Office of Human Resources for the Division of Academic Affairs and the Office of Human Resources for the Division of Health Sciences for EPA employees, and by University Human Resources for all staff employees.

Graduate students in traditional face-to-face instructional programs and distance education programs are informed of ECU’s intellectual property procedures and policies through a link to the Patent & Copyright Policies page on the Graduate School web site.  For additional reference, Graduate Program Directors are further informed about the policies in the Graduate Program Directors Handbook (Section 1.12).  Also, beginning fall semester 2012, the Graduate School will implement an on-line training and certification program for all new graduate students to further assure understanding of University policies and procedures related to research, intellectual property and other relevant matters.

Undergraduate students in traditional face-to-face instructional programs and distance education programs are informed of ECU’s intellectual property procedures and policies as published by the Dean of Students and in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Resolution of Issues/Disputes

The University Committee on Intellectual Property Patents is charged with resolving questions of invention ownership that arise between the institution and its faculty, staff, or students or among other individuals.  The University Committee on Intellectual Property / Patents meets monthly throughout the calendar year.  The Patent Procedures provide instructions for the conduct of dispute hearings

Among its duties, the University Committee on Copyrights is charged with hearing and recommending resolution of disputes involving copyright ownership.  The University Copyright Committee meets as necessary during the academic year.  The Copyright Policy provides instructions for the conduct of dispute hearings.

 

 

 

Documentation

Reference Title

Location

Available Technologies

Technology Transfer Available Technologies

Copyright Ownership

Faculty Manual part7

Copyright Policy of East Carolina University

Faculty Manual part7

Dean of Students

Dean of Students _ Policies  Procedures

East Carolina University Policy Manual

Policy Manual

Faculty Manual Part VII, Section II.E (Revenue Sharing)

Faculty Manual Patent Procedures

Graduate Program Directors Handbook

Official-GPD-Handbook

Patent & Copyright Policies page on the Graduate School website

Grad Patent Copyright Policies

Patent Agreement and Assignment

ECU_Employee_Patent_Assignment_Summer2011

Patent Procedures of East Carolina University

Faculty Manual part7

Office of Technology and Transfer (Policies)

Technology Transfer Policies

Office of Technology and Transfer (Primers)

Technology Transfer Policies and Procedures

Undergraduate Catalog

Ugrad Catalog Policies

University Faculty Manual

Faculty Manual Part VII. Research Information - Contents

University of North Carolina Policy Manual, Part 500.2

University of North Carolina Policy Manual, Part 500.2