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Academic Affairs / Provost

Administration 203
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4116

Intellectual Property Rights Policy

Academic Policies and Procedures


Intellectual Property Rights Policy

Date of Current Revision:  March 2000 – under review April 2017             

Primary Responsible Officer: President


Intellectual Property Rights Policy


1. Intellectual Property Rights Policy. The purpose of the “Intellectual Property Rights Policy” is to foster creative activity and discovery within the bounds of academic freedom, while at the same time protecting the interests of the university. This policy will cover several different areas of intellectual property, including copyright, rights to online intellectual property, patents and trademarks.  For additional information see Intellectual Property Rights Policy Board of Governors Policy 3.1.020 and the UCM Procedures and Guidelines Property Rights Procedure.


2. Educational Materials.  It is the purpose of this policy statement to clarify the respective rights of faculty, staff, students and the university by defining the types of educational materials which should be designated "university-sponsored" by establishing procedures for administering policies concerning these materials, and stating university-wide policies governing their ownership and use and the rights to income produced.


This policy does not affect the traditional ownership rights of faculty and staff to print or non-print educational materials other than those which were specifically commissioned by the university and the preparation of which were not supported or assisted in any substantial way by or through any university agency. The preparation and publication of texts utilizing secretarial and/or professional time are not to be considered substantial support.


Section I. Coverage of Statement of Policy

This statement of policy governs only the ownership and use of university-sponsored educational materials, as defined in Section II.


Section II. Definition of University-Sponsored Educational Materials


a. Educational materials are University-Sponsored:


(1) If the author or producer has employed in developmental work, and without personal expense, substantial university resources, excluding normal secretarial assistance; or

(2) If the author or producer has been both commissioned in writing by the university, or one of its colleges, departments, or agencies to develop the materials and, in their production, has received released time or for which the faculty member received compensation from university-administered funds.


b. The types of educational materials to which this policy is designed to apply include, but are not necessarily limited to:


(1) Video and audio recordings;

(2) Films, film strips, charts, transparencies, and other visual aids;

(3) Study guides, tests, syllabi, bibliographies and texts;

(4) Programmed instructional materials;

(5) Live video and audio broadcasts;

(6) Computer programs and programmed instructional materials;

(7) Other print and non-print materials subject to federal copyright.

(8) Multimedia instructional material.

(9) Inter-active television video (ITV), Internet, and distance learning materials.


Section III. Ownership and Use of University Sponsored Educational Materials


a. This policy is generally applicable to all University Sponsored Educational Materials unless other terms of agreement between the university, or one of its colleges, departments, or agencies (hereinafter referred to as the University) and the creator(s) (hereinafter referred to as the Creator) are specified in writing. Individual faculty members who intend to create educational materials or other products with University sponsorship are encouraged to enter into a contract or memorandum of understanding with the university that details the University sponsorship as well as rights to ownership and use of products and intellectual property created.

b. Educational materials which do not satisfy the definition of University Sponsored Educational Materials (Section II of this policy) remain the property of the Creator. The University claims no specific rights to ownership or use of such products.

c. Rights and limitations of the University and the Creator:


(1) University Sponsored Educational Materials are the shared property of the University and the Creator.

(2) The University maintains the right to use and to modify or revise University Sponsored Educational Materials for academic purposes.

(3) In the event that the University uses, modifies, or revises University Sponsored Educational Materials, the original Creator shall have the option of removing his/her name from the modified/revised product without forfeiting his/her rights to use the original product.

(4) The Creator retains the right to use University Sponsored Educational Materials, for noncommercial academic applications that do not involve violations of University Conflict of Interest or other policies. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the right to use the materials for teaching and/or publication in scholarly and professional journals.

(5) In the event that the Creator's employment with the University is separated or terminated, the Creator retains the right to use the University Sponsored Product for non-commercial purposes, including teaching and publication, as described above.


d. University Sponsored Educational Materials and Commercial Value:


(1) In the event that University Sponsored Educational Materials are determined to have a commercial value, the Creator and the University will share in monetary returns from commercial use. If no other

Agreement has been established between the Creator and the University, policies set forth in this section will apply. Products involving patents are covered in the Patent Policy Board of Governors 3.1.030

(2) Neither the University nor the Creator may independently prevent the commercial use of University Sponsored Educational Materials unless such commercial use is in violation of the University Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy.

(3) Proceeds from the commercial use of University Sponsored Educational Materials will go first to compensate the University for direct expenses equal to the actual, direct University expenditure (variable cost) to create the product. (University fixed or overhead costs will NOT be included.)

(4) Proceeds beyond compensation for University expenses incurred in the creation of University Sponsored Educational Materials will be divided between the University (20%) and the Creator (80%).


e. In the event that the development of educational material is jointly sponsored by the University and any external agency (public or private), a written agreement or memorandum of understanding will specify the ownership and use rights of each party. Such agreements should be developed and approved through the Office of Sponsored Research and the University Provost.


f. University faculty and staff may use copyrighted text, images, video and audio as part of curriculum based instructional activities with the permission of the owner(s) or with an exception to the rights of the owner(s) through an educational exemption, fair use exemption, or TEACH Act exception as provided in Title 17 of the United States Code. Other portions of copyright legislation, such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, may also affect the legality of using copyrighted material without permission as part of curriculum based instruction and should, therefore, also be considered. The determination to seek permission or appropriately invoke an exemption must be made with each specific use of any copyrighted material for which a member of faculty or staff does not own the copyright. In case of a challenge, documentation of each determination must be maintained by the user of the copyrighted material. For additional information see Copyright and Fair Use.


3. Patent Policy. The Board of Governors for the University of Central Missouri recognizes research is an integral part of the educational process to generate new knowledge, encourage the spirit of inquiry, and develop scientists, technicians, and other scholars and professionals. As a result of such research, new discoveries and inventions may be made by faculty, staff and students of the university which could have material commercial value and which could contribute significantly to the scientific, technological, social, and cultural well-being of the community, state, and nation. In the best interests of the public, the investor, the university, and under certain circumstances the government, these accomplishments should be patented. For additional information see the Patent Policy Board of Governors 3.1.030.


Revision History:

Approved March 2000             

Edited for web links, formatting and plain language. Approved December 2015

Currently under review for consolidation with other IP policy by UCM Senior Leadership Team. April 2017.

Previously annotated as VII.26. Intellectual Property Rights Policy. Renamed Intellectual Property Rights Policy for alphabetical listing, grammar and spell check, and transitioned into policy library April 2017