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3.2.14 Intellectual Property Rights PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 31 August 2009 13:00

3.2.14     Intellectual Property Rights

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.

Responsible Unit: Legal Affairs

Compliance Judgment



As a constituent of the University of North Carolina System (UNC System), North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A&T) operates under UNC System policies.  The UNC Policy Manual: Section 500.2 - Patent and Copyright Policies [1] outlines criteria for guidance of the administrators, faculty, staff, and students of the UNC System component institutions concerning the development, use, ownership, management, and marketing of intellectual property. The process for patents on inventions arising from research financed by the United States Government is also detailed within the UNC Patent and Copyright Policies. For readers unfamiliar with the legal terminology of patent and copyright policies, a basic lesson on intellectual property language is available in the UNC Primer on Copyright Ownership publication [2].

Based on the UNC Policy Manual Regulations for Establishing a Copyright Use and Ownership Policy [3], A&T has established intellectual property procedures [4], which are published on the Division of Research & Economic Development (DORED) Outreach and Technology Transfer Web site [5] and the DORED Forms Web page [6]. A&T's intellectual property procedures reaffirm the UNC System policy on ownership of intellectual property created by A&T students, faculty, and staff and establish the process by which the university determines how and when to exercise these ownership rights. Section 2: Inventions and Discoveries sets forth the university's policy on sharing revenue derived from the licensing of university-owned intellectual property. Protection of intellectual property rights begins at A&T with the completion of an Invention Disclosure Form [7].

Both the UNC System and the A&T policies define intellectual property as including but not limited to: inventions, discoveries, proprietary information, literary works, manufacturing processes, and software regardless of whether or not they are protected by patent, copyrights, trade and service marks, or other law. Similarly, the policies on ownership of intellectual property make it clear that scholarly works created by students, faculty, or staff are the property of the individuals who created said works and not of the UNC System or A&T unless the work was created through a "sponsored or externally contracted" arrangement, or within the scope of "work for hire" [1]. Section TT-23 of the Division of Research & Economic Development Policies and Procedures stipulates that all disputes involving intellectual property ownership will be mediated through the university's Intellectual Property Committee (IPC) [8]. The vice chancellor for research and economic development appoints the IPC, which consists of no fewer than three members, with the director of the Office of Outreach & Technology Transfer serving as chairman of the committee.

Closely related to the intellectual property policy, the UNC System Guidelines on Photocopying Copyrighted Materials [1] addresses the responsibilities and requirements of university students, faculty, and staff in the use of copyrighted works of others, including explanation and limitations of copyright exceptions, public domain, and "fair use" privileges.  Efforts in A&T's Bluford Library to communicate guidelines to faculty and instructors concerning appropriate use of placing copyrighted materials on reserve for students includes the Policies on Reserve Materials and Copyright outlined on the Reserve Services for Faculty library Web page [9].  Additionally, faculty and instructors placing materials on reserve for instructional use in the F.D. Bluford Library are required to complete a Copyright Certification Form attesting to compliance with copyright law [10].  Restrictions on downloading copyrighted materials from library databases are stipulated in the Library Database Usage Policy Web page [11].

Policies regarding the use of computing and electronic resources are covered in the A&T Computing and Networking Policies [12], promulgated to students, faculty, and staff on the Division of Information Technology Policies/standards Web site [13] and in the Undergraduate Bulletin's Computer Use Policy Statement [14]. Computing and networking usage policies are also outlined in Undergraduate Student Handbook distributed to all new students. [15] The UNC System also outlines the policies for acceptance of intellectual property rights equity in lieu of cash in technology transfer arrangement in its University Equity Acquisition Policy [16].

Supporting Documents

[1]        UNC-GA, Code, Section 500.2.2, Patent and Copyright Policies

[2]        Legal Affairs, Primer on Copyright Ownership

[3]        UNC-GA, Code, Section 500.2.1[R],Regulations for Establishing a Copyright Use and Ownership Policy

[4]        Policies, Intellectual Property Procedures

[5]        DORED, Outreach and Technology Transfer (How To Section) Website

[6]        DORED, Forms Web page

[7]        DORED, Invention Disclosure Form

[8]        Policies, Procedures, DORED

[9]      Library, Reserve Services for Faculty Website,

[10]      Library, Copyright Certification Form

[11]      Library, Database Usage Policy,

[12]      Policies, Computing and Networking

[13]      Policies, Division of Information Technology Website

[14]      Undergraduate Bulletin, Computer Use Policy Statement

[15]      Student Handbook, Computing and Network Usage Policy, p. 72

[16]      UNC-GA, Code, 500.6, University Equity Acquisition Policy

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Last Updated ( Friday, 26 February 2010 15:06 )

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