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Faculty and Unclassified Staff Handbook
Chapter 1 -- General Policies

Intellectual Property Policy


The University has created an environment for some of the most important and creative endeavors in our modern era. By providing a forum for discussion and exploration, the University stimulates great works of research, art, and music. This policy has three purposes. First, to recognize the diverse ways in which the innovativeness and creativity of faculty and staff benefit Kansas and our nation. Second, to recognize the role of the University in facilitating the creative activity of faculty. Third, to recognize the specific rights of ownership that the University has in the creative activities of faculty, staff, and students.

Benefits of Creativity

A necessary element for the creation and dissemination of knowledge is the free exchange of ideas, information, and scholarship. The University, faculty, staff, and students are partners and thus have a joint interest in developing and maintaining a positive atmosphere for creative endeavors. In order to maintain the amicable relations requisite for such an environment, it is necessary to recognize that in some instances ownership of intellectual property resides primarily with the faculty, staff, or student(s) who was (were) its creator(s), in some instances ownership over intellectual property is shared among the partners, and in some instances ownership resides primarily with the University.

Instances when Ownership of Intellectual Property Resides Primarily
with the Creator

The University, faculty, staff, and students jointly agree that, except in the following cases, ownership of intellectual property rights, including copyright, books, articles, works of art, musical compositions, or other forms of intellectual creations belong
to the faculty, staff, or student [hereafter "creator(s)"] who created it:

1. Works written or produced under contracts or grants. Intellectual property resulting from a contract or grant belongs to the party who provides the funding or grant or is assigned according to the terms under which the contract or grant was carried out.

2. Patents and software (excluding mediated course work software, see below).

3. Student-created products. Student-created products not claimed by students within 30 days of the close of the semester in which those products were created may be disposed of or destroyed by the University.

4. The University has the right to fair use of scholarship produced by creator(s) who are members of the University community, subject to the laws of Kansas and the United States.

Instances of Joint Ownership: Patents and Software

If faculty members, staff members, or students develop software, hardware, or other intellectual innovations, or obtain patents or software copyrights solely as a result of their own creative and intellectual effort, time, resources, and money, then those individuals shall be the sole beneficiaries of any royalties or profits deriving therefrom.

Patents obtained on inventions resulting from institutionally sponsored research or software copyrights resulting from institutionally sponsored research with an actual or projected market value in excess of $10,000 annually (adjusted by the 1998 Consumer Price Index) shall be retained by the University or may be assigned to an organization (hereafter called "the Organization") independent of the institution and created for the purpose of or assigned the responsibility for obtaining patents on inventions, software copyrights, receiving gifts, administering or disposing of such patents and software copyrights, and promoting research at the University by every proper means. The following provisions govern the patenting of inventions or obtaining of software copyrights:

1. Anyone who conceives an invention resulting from a research project sponsored by the University shall report the matter to the appropriate research administrator at the University, who will recommend whether to forward it to the Organization.

2. If the University or Organization decides that the invention does not warrant patenting or the software does not warrant copyrighting, the creator(s) is (are) free to patent or copyright it. In such case, however, the University does not relinquish its rights 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 from royalties, license fees, or other receipts based on any patent, not less than twenty-five percent (25%) of such receipts shall be paid to the creator(s) after the University has recouped any direct costs borne by it for equipment and materials and costs paid to third parties.

4. When any revenue is obtained by or on behalf of the University from the development or assignment of any software copyright with an actual or projected market value in excess of $10,000 annually or from royalties, license fees, or other receipts based on any software copyright with an actual or projected market value in excess of $10,000 annually, after the University has recouped any direct costs borne by it for equipment and materials and costs paid to third parties, the first $50,000 annually is to be paid to the creator(s), with the understanding that such amount will be adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index as to the value of the dollar at December 31, 1998. Additionally, not less than twenty-five percent (25%) of annual receipts over $50,000 shall be paid to the creator(s).

5. The remainder of the receipts mentioned in the preceding two points shall be used to sponsor further research and research-related activities in the University. The University may agree that the Organization may retain a portion of the funds to cover its administrative and related necessary costs.

6. The cases of cooperative research and research for which all costs including overhead are paid by an outside party is delineated in Kansas Board of Regents Policy Manual, (sections D8b5 and D8b7).

Instances of Joint Ownership: Mediated Instruction

The University community is committed to disseminating scholarship and innovation as widely as possible. Instruction in traditional, face-to-face classes is one forum in which this distribution occurs. Other increasingly important vehicles for instruction are mediated courses, offered through the Virtual College at FHSU. The University has some control and ownership rights over Virtual College courses and these rights are shared with faculty who produce the Virtual College courses. The University's rights to Virtual College courses are subject to the following provisions:

1. A faculty member's notes and lectures are his or her property. In addition, when a faculty member has developed a Virtual College course without specific contractual obligation to do so (faculty initiated) and using only normal resources, the resulting mediated courseware involved in teaching the Virtual College course is the property of the faculty member.

2. The department maintains control of the curricula and course offerings of its approved programs, including Virtual College courses.

3. The faculty member(s) who created a Virtual College course has (have) the right of first refusal to an offer to deliver the course before the department may assign the course to another faculty member. In addition, in order to use faculty-initiated Virtual College courses the University will need to obtain the written permission of the creator.

4. The Virtual College will negotiate with the original creator(s) with regard to the payment of fees for the development of course(s), for the teaching of the course(s), and for the continued use of the course(s) when taught by a third party. Receipts to the creator(s) generated from the non-tuition/fee sale or use of all Virtual College course materials outside of the University shall be 50% of the gross profits.

5. No Virtual College course shall be edited or in any other way modified without the prior approval of the joint owners.

6. Should the creator(s) leave the University he or she (they) may still offer the Virtual College course for the University if willing and able, or may without prejudice offer the Virtual College course for another University, except that the creator(s) will not offer this Virtual College course in Kansas in competition with the University.

Grievance Procedures

The Faculty Hearings and Appeals procedures in Chapter One of the Faculty and Unclassified Staff Handbook will be used for resolving grievances arising from the application of this policy for faculty.


The University is committed, first and foremost, to fostering creativity and innovation and, second, to the timely dissemination of their beneficent results. The University encourages creativity and innovation and recognizes the many ways in which these qualities contribute to society. By protecting the intellectual property rights of all parties, the University partners hope to foster the type of dynamic synergism which is unique to the university setting.

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