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3.1.020 Intellectual Property Rights Policy

University of Central Missouri Policy

Policy Name:  Intellectual Property Rights Policy

Date Approved:  December 8, 2017

Policy Category:  Board of Governors – Academic Affairs

Date Effective:  December 8, 2017

Policy Number:  3.1.020

Date Last Revised:  N/A

Approval Authority:  UCM Board of Governors

Review Cycle:  4 years

Responsible Department:  Office of the Provost


Purpose/Policy Statement

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, educators, artists, and other scholars and professionals. The purpose of this policy is to foster creative activity, scholarship, and discovery, while protecting the interests of the community of students, faculty, staff, and administration who comprise the University. 


This policy applies to intellectual property at the University.


A. Administrator.

The term “Administrator” refers to employees holding the position of associate vice president, assistant vice president, associate vice provost, assistant vice provost, dean, chair, University director for intercollegiate athletics, director or assistant director. The term “Senior Administrator” refers to employees holding the position of president, provost, executive vice president/chief operating officer, sr. vice president, vice provost, or vice president.

B. Author.

The term “Author” refers to a person or persons that are the creator(s) of an original expression in a work. 

C. Commissioned Research.

“Commissioned Research” means research created under a separate agreement between the University and the Creator when: (1) the Creator is not a University employee, or (2) the Creator is a University employee and the research performed falls outside the normal scope of the Creator's University employment, or the Creator receives Substantial University Resources. 

D. Creator.

The term “Creator” refers to an individual or group of individuals who make, conceive, reduce to practice, author, or otherwise make a substantive intellectual contribution to the creation of Intellectual Property, including, employees and faculty members, and students. “Creator” includes Inventor and Author, as defined herein. 

E. Intellectual Property.

The term “Intellectual Property” is broadly defined to include any inventions, discoveries, know-how, processes, unique materials, works of authorship, copyrightable works, including original and derivative works, traditional course materials, online course materials, original data and any other creative works that may have value. Intellectual Property includes that which is protectable by statute or legislation, such as patents, registered or unregistered copyrights, registered or unregistered trademarks, service marks, trade secrets, mask works, and plant variety protection certificates and the physical embodiments of intellectual effort, such as, models, machines, devices, designs, apparatus, instrumentation, circuits, computer programs and visualizations, biological materials, chemicals, other compositions of matter, plants, and records of research and experimental results.

F. Inventor.

The term “Inventor” means a person or persons who contribute to the claims of a patentable invention.

G. Substantial University Resources.

“Substantial University Resources” means that the Creator receives from University time and/or resources specifically dedicated to the creation of Intellectual Property that go beyond those typically available at University for development or production of Intellectual Property. Those resources may include internal funding, external funding, and special assignment of graduate assistantships, reassigned time, or specific remuneration for course development, or other materials agreed to in writing in advance as “Substantial.” Resources that are typically available to scholars (and hence should not constitute “Substantial University Resources”) include such support as regular salary, office space, library facilities, studios, labs, incubators, ordinary access to computers and networks including Internet access, space for course pages, and reasonable technical support. 

H. Supervisor.

The term “Supervisor” refers to the individual to whom an employee directly reports in employee’s reporting line.

I. Traditional Educational Materials.

The term “Traditional Educational Materials” refers to copyrightable works created independently and at a Creator’s own initiative for academic purposes. Examples include, but are not necessarily limited to study guides, tests, instructional materials, bibliographies and texts, audio and video recordings, live audio and video broadcasts, films, film strips, charts, transparencies, computer programs and other programmed instructional materials, online course and distance learning materials, and any other print and non-print materials subject to federal copyright. Traditional Educational Materials include any original works, derivative works, and any revisions to such original and derivative works. Traditional Educational Materials shall not include any master syllabi or course learning objectives for any University course or any program-developed materials, as such materials are deemed University-Owned Intellectual Property.

J. University-Owned Intellectual Property.

 “University-Owned Intellectual Property” means Intellectual Property solely owned by the University that is (1) created with Substantial University Resources, (2) Commissioned Research, or (3) materials required that the tenured faculty creates that are approved by the Missouri Department of Higher Education or the Coordinating Board of Higher Education.

Procedure Index

Procedure Index

I. Application

II. Copyrights

III. Patentable and Other Intellectual Property

IV. Intellectual Property Administration

V. Proceeds Distribution

VI. Disputes Regarding Ownership of Intellectual Property


I. Application

A. Third Parties. When Substantial University Resources are used when creating Intellectual Property, then the University may enter into a written agreement with all parties regarding the ownership interest of the intellectual property. 

B. Assignments. All Creators of University-Owned Intellectual Property as determined by this policy hereby assign all right, title, ownership, and interest in University-Owned Intellectual Property to the University. All Creators shall execute all mutually agreeable documents required to assign such interest. If the University is unable to secure the Creator’s signature on any document necessary to apply for, prosecute or obtain or enforce any patent, copyright, or other right or protection relating to University-Owned Intellectual Property, whether due to the Creator’s mental or physical incapacity or any other cause, the Creator hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the University and each of its duly authorized officers and agents as Creator’s agent and attorney-in-fact, to act for and in the Creator’s behalf to execute and file any such document and to do all other lawfully permitted acts to further the prosecution, issuance and enforcement of patents, copyrights, or other rights or protections, with the same force and effect as if executed and delivered by the Creator.

II. Copyrights

A. Intellectual Property Rights Retained Exclusively by Creator. Except for University-Owned Intellectual Property, the Creator retains exclusive rights to any Intellectual Property (including Traditional Educational Materials), that is created solely as a result of the Creator's own creative and intellectual effort, time, resources, and money.

B. Archival License of Traditional Educational Materials. In order to allow the University to comply with administrative, management and records requirements, the University shall have a limited license to archive syllabi, submitted student work, assessments, tests, and grades solely for administrative document management purposes, transfer credits, grade challenges, and accreditation. This license shall continue after the Creator’s employment with the University terminates. 

C. Master Syllabus and Course Learning Objectives. The University shall own the master syllabi and course learning objectives for any University course; however, faculty shall retain all rights in their individual syllabi that may be derivative works of the master syllabi and course learning objectives.

D. Ownership of Student Works. Unless otherwise provided by written agreement, or this policy, copyrightable works prepared by students as part of the requirements for a University degree program or a part of a University extracurricular activity are deemed to be the property of the student. Notwithstanding the foregoing, each student hereby provides to the University (1) a limited license to archive a true copy of original records (including software) of an investigation for a graduate thesis or dissertation, (2) as a condition of awarding the degree, a perpetual and royalty-free license to retain, use and distribute a limited number of copies of the thesis, together with the right to require its publication for archival use, and (3) a limited license for faculty to use the student work for internal promotional purposes, including for promotion and tenure.

E. Copyright Registration and Notice. University-Owned Intellectual Property shall be protected by copyright notice in the name of the University of Central Missouri. Such copyright notice shall be composed and affixed in accordance with the U. S. Copyright Law. The University may, in its sole discretion, decide to file for copyright registration for University-Owned Intellectual Property or release a work to the public domain.

The University reserves the right to pursue multiple forms of legal protection concomitantly if available, i.e., patent, trade secret and trademark protection for University-Owned Intellectual Property.

F. Trademark Approval. Trademarks and service marks are distinctive words or graphic symbols identifying the source, product, producer, or distributor of goods or services. The appropriate University office will approve registration of all trademarks or service marks at both the state and federal level.

III. Patentable and Other Intellectual Property

A. Ownership of Patentable Intellectual Property. Except for University-Owned Intellectual Property, the Creator shall own all rights, title, and interest in any patentable Intellectual Property. 

B. Creator Interest in Patentable University-Owned Intellectual Property. If the University decides not to commercially pursue or prosecute any patentable University-Owned Intellectual Property, or abandon existing patent prosecution, then at the Creator’s written request, within six months of such decision or abandonment, the University will assign such patentable University-Owned Intellectual Property to the Creator; provided that the Creator agrees to the following conditions should the Creator generate any revenue from the patentable Intellectual Property: 

1. the Creator must reimburse the University for all documented direct costs incurred pursuing the patentable Intellectual Property; and

2. the Creator must pay the University a five percent (5%) royalty for any profits generated from the patentable Intellectual Property after fully reimbursing the University for documented direct costs incurred by the University in pursuing the patentable Intellectual Property.

C. Externally-Sponsored Activities. Patent rights resulting from externally-sponsored research, grants, contracts, fellowships, or other such arrangements are governed by the terms of those agreements, but as between the University and the Creator, this policy shall be controlling.

IV. Intellectual Property Administration

A. External Disclosures of University-Owned Intellectual Property. The University does not intend to prevent research publication or impede scholarly discussion of ideas. However, oral or written disclosure, public use, or divulging in any other way University-Owned Intellectual Property could prevent efforts to obtain legal protection of that property. Therefore, Creator(s) must notify the University of any potential disclosure and obtain written permission from the University before making any disclosure outside the University (e.g., articles, abstracts, scientific presentations or funding proposals) and agree to any reasonable requests by the University to delay or amend the desired disclosure in order to permit appropriate protection of the University-Owned Intellectual Property.

B. Verification of University Ownership. In the event there is a question as to whether the University has a valid ownership claim in Intellectual Property, the Creator shall promptly provide a description of the intellectual property to the Creator’s Senior Administrator at the University. If there are any disputes in ownership of Intellectual Property between the University and the Creator, disputes will be resolved through the applicable existing avenues for dispute, resolution, and grievances.

C. Protection, Commercialization, and Disposition of University-Owned Intellectual Property. The University will inform principal Creators of its substantive decisions regarding protection, commercialization and/or disposition of University-Owned Intellectual Property that the Creator(s) disclosed to the University. However, specific terms of agreements with external parties may contain proprietary business information and be subject to confidentiality restrictions. The University shall have six months from the date the disclosure form was filed in which to commence the protection or commercialization of the University-Owned Intellectual Property.

D. University-Owned Intellectual Property. If neither the protection nor commercialization of the patentable University-Owned Intellectual Property has commenced in earnest within six months from the date of the filing of the disclosure form, the Creator(s) may then give notice to the University of the Creator(s)’ intention to separately commence, at the sole expense of the Creator(s), the protection or commercialization of that specific University-owned Intellectual Property. If the University does not thereafter promptly (not to exceed thirty (30) days) commence commercialization or protection, the Creator(s) may proceed, subject to the University retaining a limited license to archive a copy of the Intellectual Property solely for administrative document management purposes. 

E. Conflicts of Interest. If a conflict of interest arises related to this Intellectual Property Policy, then such conflicts of interest will be resolved through the applicable existing avenues for resolution of such conflict of interest.

V. Proceeds Distribution


A. Proceeds. The term “proceeds” shall refer to all revenue and/or equity, as defined below, received by the University from transfer, commercialization, or other exploitation of University-Owned Intellectual Property, where “revenue” means cash from payments including, but not limited to, royalties, option fees, license fees, and/ or fees from the sale of the University's equity interest, and “equity” includes, but is not limited to, stock, securities, stock options, warrants, buildings, real or personal property, or other non-cash consideration.

B. Net Proceeds. When proceeds are received by the University, all out-of-pocket payments or obligations attributable to protecting (including defense against infringement or enforcement actions), marketing, licensing or administering the property may be deducted from such proceeds. The income remaining after such deductions is defined as “Net Proceeds.”

C. Proceeds from University-Owned Intellectual Property. In the event that University-Owned Intellectual Property is determined to have a commercial value, the Creator and the University will share the Net Proceeds from the University-Owned Intellectual Property as follows:

1. in the event of a separate agreement between Creator and the University, such agreement will govern the distribution of proceeds;

2. absent a separate agreement between Creator and the University, the Net Proceeds will be divided to provide twenty percent (20%) to the University and eighty percent (80%) to the Creator.

VI. Disputes Regarding Ownership of Intellectual Property



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