Policy 4.2.1 - Intellectual Property

The College acknowledges the ownership rights associated with intellectual property and requires
students and employees to adhere to all applicable state and federal laws. Intellectual property may be defined as any intellectual or creative works that can be copyrighted, trademarked or patented. Such works may include but are not limited to literary, musical, dramatic or artistic works, computer software, multimedia presentations, brand marks or inventions.

I. Works Made for Hire

The College recognizes that the “works made for hire doctrine” applies to College employees. Under this doctrine and this policy, a work made for hire is defined as a work prepared by any employee within the scope of his or her employment. Other works created under the terms of an agreement between the College and a creator may also be deemed works made for hire under that agreement. Works made for hire include any materials that may receive protection under federal patent, copyright, or trademark law. The College retains its ownership of works made for hire and all rights incidental to that ownership except as stated below.

This policy does not include independent works by employees that were not created within the scope of employment and without College support.

II. Academic Exception for Copyrightable Works

The College recognizes an academic exception to the works made for hire doctrine. Unless otherwise determined by the College prior to the creation of the Work, it is the College’s policy that employees own and retain the copyright, and all rights incidental to that ownership, to works created for traditional academic purposes regardless of any use of College resources used in making the work.

This exception applies only to works that may be legally registered in the United States Copyright Office, including but not limited to, textbooks, scholarly monographs, trade publications, maps, charts, articles, novels, nonfiction works, supporting materials, artistic works, syllabi, lecture notes, educational software and multimedia. Employees, however, may not use College resources to commercialize or publish a work without written approval from College administration.

For any creative work that falls under this exception, the employee grants and the College retains a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive right to use the work for educational, research and marketing purposes.

This exception does not apply to trademarks, inventions or patent ownership.

III. Student Works

Except as stated herein, the College recognizes that students retain ownership of intellectual property submitted in fulfillment of academic requirements. By enrolling in the College, the student gives the College a perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to mark, modify, and use, any work as may be required by the process of instruction, or for other educational, research or marketing purposes.

This section does not apply to class or lab notes created by a student.

The College shall retain the ownership of all patentable inventions created by a student in fulfillment of academic requirements under the following conditions: the development of the invention involved substantial use of College resources, including use of facilities, time, and/or other resources.

IV. Other Agreements

In support of its mission, the College, an employee or a student may voluntarily enter into other agreements for ownership of intellectual property or the sharing of royalties. In these instances, the written agreement is controlling, not this policy.

In the case of a work created under the provisions of a grant, the terms of the grant will determine the ownership and all rights incidental to the ownership of the property created, not this policy.

All revenue derived by the College from the creation and production of intellectual property shall be used for educational and research purposes that directly support the College’s mission.

V. Dispute Resolution

A. Prior to creating works using College resources, employees and students should direct intellectual property ownership questions to the appropriate Vice President.

B. Employees. If issues related to ownership of intellectual property arise and cannot be resolved informally, College employees may seek resolution through Policy 3.3.8 – Employee Grievance Policy. Prior to initiating litigation, both parties will participate in voluntary mediation before a neutral third-party mediator and will equally share the cost of such mediation.

C. Students. If issues related to ownership of intellectual property arise and cannot be resolved informally, College students may seek resolution through Policy 5.3.6 – Student Grievance Policy. Prior to initiating litigation,  both parties will participate in voluntary mediation before a neutral third-party mediator and will equally share the cost of such mediation.

Adopted: September 9, 2019


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Last Updated: Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 9:30 AM

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