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9.10 / Intellectual Property

The purpose of the Wichita State University Intellectual Property policy is to foster the free and creative expression and exchange of ideas and knowledge; to preserve traditional academic practices and academic freedom with respect to scholarly and creative/artistic work; and to establish principles and procedures for distributing income from copyrightable and patentable research.  This policy applies to all full-time, part-time, and student employees.

For the purposes of this policy, “work-for-hire” is defined as scholarly and creative/artistic activity that either is supported by a direct allocation of institutional funds for a designated project, is expressly commissioned by the University, or is otherwise subject to specific contractual obligations.  “Substantial use” means that the creator receives from the University either more than normal support for the work or time and/or resources specifically dedicated to the project.

When revenues are to be shared pursuant to this policy, unless otherwise negotiated, the creator(s) shall obtain his/her share only after the University has recouped any direct costs incurred for equipment and materials and costs paid to third parties.  The portion of the revenues to be shared among creators shall be shared equally, unless otherwise negotiated.

Policy Statement:

1.  General Copyright Policy

The ownership associated with copyright is dependent upon the specific type of intellectual property and federal law.  The University shall assert limited ownership rights as set forth below.  Since the University has a fiduciary responsibility for the appropriate use of state funds, unless otherwise provided for under this policy, all rights associated with works-for-hire or other works that make substantial use of institutional resources belong to the University.

2.  Scholarly and Creative/Artistic Works

Notwithstanding any use of University resources or the work-for-hire principle, the ownership of scholarly and creative/artistic works remains with the creator(s).  Any revenue derived from such work belongs to the creator(s).  If requested by the University, the creator(s) shall seek permission to provide the royalty-free right to manuscripts published in professional journals for use solely within the University’s teaching, research and service programs.

3.  Student Academic Creations

The ownership of student works submitted in fulfillment of academic requirements shall be with the creator(s) with the following exception: upon request of the creator(s), the University shall determine ownership of works created from research or developmental activities that are collaborative efforts involving students, faculty, or staff, or spanning several semesters.  The student, by enrolling at Wichita State University, gives the University a nonexclusive royalty-free license to mark on, modify, retain the work as may be required by the process of instruction, or otherwise handle the work as set out in this policy or in the course syllabus.  The University does not have the right to use the work in any other manner without the written consent of the creator(s).

4.  Mediated Courseware

(a)  The University shall assert limited rights to mediated courseware (that is, course materials disseminated through electronic media).  Self-initiated courseware, developed without a specific work-for-hire contract, shall remain the property of the creator(s), unless otherwise negotiated; provided, however, that no royalty, rental fee, or other consideration shall be paid to the creator(s) when that mediated courseware is used for instruction at Wichita State University.  Such mediated courseware shall not be used or modified without the consent of the creator(s), nor shall it be sold, leased, rented, or otherwise used in a manner that competes in a substantial way with the for-credit offerings of Wichita State University, unless otherwise negotiated.

(b)  Mediated courseware developed as a specifically contracted work-for-hire, unless otherwise negotiated, shall be the intellectual property of the University.  In such cases, when the University expressly directs the creation of mediated courseware and provides materials and time to develop the mediated courseware, the University shall reserve the right to revise and decide who will utilize such mediated courseware for instructional purposes.

5.  Patent and Copyrightable Software Policy

Unless otherwise negotiated by the creator(s) and the University, patents obtained on inventions or copyrightable software resulting from University-sponsored research with an actual or projected market value in excess of $10,000 annually, shall be retained by the University or may be assigned to an organization (hereinafter called “the Organization”) independent of the University and created for the purpose of obtaining, administering, or disposing of patents; receiving gifts; and promoting research and the development of intellectual property.  Unless otherwise negotiated, these guidelines shall be followed with respect to inventions or copyrightable software:

(1)  Anyone who develops, under the sponsorship of a University-funded research project, an invention or copyrightable software that is not included in mediated courseware, shall report the matter to the Provost, or his/her designee.

(2)  If the University or the Organization decides, in a timely fashion, that the invention does not warrant patenting, the inventor is free to patent it.  If  the University or the Organization decides, in a timely fashion, not to further the use of copyrightable software, it shall assign the rights therein to the creator(s).  In such cases, however, the University does not relinquish its right to publish any of the data obtained in the research project.

(3)  When any revenue is obtained by or on behalf of the University from the development or assignment of any patent or copyrightable software, not less than fifty percent (50%) of revenues shall be paid to the inventor(s) or creator(s) after the University recoups costs as set forth in this policy.

(4)  The remainder of any revenues discussed in paragraph (3) above shall be used to sponsor further research and research-related activities within the University, although the University may permit the Organization to retain a portion of the funds.

(5)  In cases of cooperative research sponsored partly by an outside entity or individual(s), a written contract shall be made between the University and any such sponsor(s).  This contract should include a statement substantially equivalent to the following:

“It is agreed by the parties to this contract that all results of experimental work, including inventions and copyrightable software, carried on under the direction of the University, belong to the University and shall be used and controlled so as to produce the greatest benefit to the public.  It is understood and agreed that if patentable inventions or copyrightable software develop from this research and such inventions or software have commercial value, the sponsor(s) shall receive preferential consideration as prospective licensee(s), with a view to compensating said sponsor(s) in part for their assistance.  It is further agreed that the name of the University shall not be used by any sponsor in any advertisement, whether with regard to the cooperative agreement or any other related matter without the advance and specific written authorization of the University.”

(6)  In cases of a research project where it is proposed that all costs, including salaries, equipment, overhead, etc., are to be paid by an outside entity or individual(s), the sponsor(s) and the University shall negotiate the appropriate assignment of all patentable or copyrightable software rights.

(7)  Changes in these guidelines shall be made by the University to conform to the laws and requirements of the United States government.

6.  Disputes

Any disputes that arise under this policy shall be reviewed by the Faculty Support Committee.  Final decisions on disputed matters will be made by the University President.

This policy shall be included in the WSU Policies and Procedures Manual and shared with appropriate constituencies in the University.

The Provost and Senior Vice President shall have primary responsibility for publication and distribution of this University policy.

Effective Date:
April 5, 2001

Revision Date:
December 1, 2007

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