4.43 Ownership and Equity

(Adopted 1-4-1988; Revised 8-25-2008; Revised 3-2-2015)

East Central College recognizes that ownership of inventions and/or materials by College personnel, and the royalties resulting therefrom, normally belong to the employee, except as otherwise provided in this Policy:

  1. When the Invention and/or Intellectual Property, as defined herein, bears a direct relationship to, or is made or developed in connection with, the employee’s College duties.
  2. When the Invention and/or Intellectual Property is made or developed with a combination of College facilities, equipment (owned or rented), materials, funds, information, or with time and services of College employees and/or students during performance of their College duties or assignments. (See Supplemental Employment Policy).
  3. When the Invention and/or Intellectual Property is made or developed in performance of College-commissioned projects including private or government sponsored grants received by the College.

It shall be the responsibility of the employee to obtain any copyrights or patents relative to joint ownership.  It shall be the responsibility of the College to obtain any copyrights or patents for Inventions and/or Intellectual Properties made or developed under the auspice of a College commission.


4.43.1. Definitions (Revised 3-2-2015; xxx2022)

The following definitions apply under the terms of this Policy:

Equity – The monetary value of a property or of an interest in a property in excess of claims or liens against it.

Inventions – All devices, discoveries, processes, methods, uses, products, or combinations, whether or not patented or patentable at any time under the Federal Patent Act as now existing or hereafter amended or supplemented.

Intellectual Properties – All intellectual and creative works that can be copyrighted, including educational materials and products, databases, computer software and materials, research materials, and web-based learning resources and/or materials.  It does not include lecture notes or literary, artistic, musical, or theatrical works unless such work was commissioned by the College or otherwise specified as a “work-for-hire” in a written agreement between the College and employee, student, or volunteer.

EmployeePart-time and full-time members of the faculty, staff, and all other agents.

Student Works – Intellectual property produced through individual initiative as part of a student’s coursework ordinarily belongs to the student.  This includes papers, artistic and musical works, and other creative works made by students in the instructional process.  Ownership of student works made during the course of employment or internship at the College shall be assigned to the College.

Students – Any person officially enrolled in one or more classes or activities offered by the College.

College – All locations of East Central College.

Work-for-Hire – Copyrightable intellectual property, which is deliverable to the College, prepared by an employee within the scope of their employment or produced as a result of a commission or agreement between the College and an employee, student, or volunteer.

4.43.2  Use of Inventions or Intellectual Properties (Revised 12-5-2022)

 Two categories of use of College-sponsored Inventions or Intellectual Properties are identified:

  1. Internal – Use by any unit of the College, either on or off campus.
  2. External – All uses other than by a unit of the College.

Use of the Intellectual Properties or Inventions will be at the discretion of the College.

4.43.3     Ownership and Equity (Revised 12-5-2022)

If the College had no involvement in the development of an Invention and/or Intellectual Property, the individual will receive full ownership and equity.

If the development of an Invention and/or Intellectual Property was College-sponsored or was solely the result of the performance of duties by College employees or interns, the College will receive or be assigned full ownership and equity.

If Inventions and/or Intellectual Property were made or developed jointly between the College and non-work-related efforts by College employees and/or students, the College will enter into joint ownership arrangements with the employee and/or student.  Exact percentages of ownership and other details shall be negotiated between the parties and set out in a binding agreement.

It shall be the responsibility of the employee to give written notification to the College of intent to make, develop, patent, or copyright Inventions and/or Intellectual Properties as soon as possible.

Employees shall be responsible for obtaining appropriate written releases from individuals identifiable or in some manner requested to participate in the creation of the College-sponsored Inventions or Intellectual Properties.  Written statements shall also be obtained from appropriate College personnel indicating that to the best of their knowledge any of the materials developed do not infringe on existing copyright or other legal rights.

If the employee wishes to take a sample of their Intellectual Property or Invention to demonstrate the level of work done in the project, this may be done if the employee pays for the costs of producing the sample.  This does not grant the employee any additional intellectual property ownership beyond that outlined above.