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Kansas Board of Regents' Intellectual Property Policy

The Board of Regents approved the following Intellectual Property policy at its November 19, 1998 meeting. Certain clauses were revised at the Board’s October 19, 2000, February 17, 2010, and June 16, 2016 meetings.

Intellectual Property Policy

(Source: From Kansas Board of Regents Policy Manual: Chapter II, Governance - State Universities, Section 8, Intellectual Property (page 29-32), http://www.kansasregents.org/about/policies-by-laws-missions/board_policy_manual_2/chapter_ii_governance_state_universities_2/chapter_ii_full_text#ip)

The purpose of the Board’s Intellectual Property Policy is to foster the creation and dissemination of knowledge and to provide certainty in individual and institutional rights associated with ownership and with the distribution of benefits that may be derived from the creation of intellectual property. The policy is intended to be a broad statement to provide uniformity among the institutions while allowing for institutional flexibility. The policy applies to all full or part-time employees, including students, creating intellectual property related to the scope of their employment while under contract with a Regents institution. When revenues are to be shared, the creator(s) shall obtain his/her share only after the institution has recouped any direct costs borne by the institution for equipment and materials and costs paid to third parties. The portion of the revenues to be shared among multiple creators shall be shared equally unless otherwise agreed in writing by the creators. Institutions shall develop written policies and procedures consistent with this Intellectual Property Policy.

  1. General Copyright Policy

    1. Mediated Courseware

    2. Scholarly & Artistic Works

    3. Manuscripts for Academic Journals

    4. Copyrightable Software

    5. Student Academic Creations

  2. Patent & Copyrightable Software

  3. Trademark Policy

  4. Institutional Procedures

A. General Copyright Policy

The ownership of the various rights associated with copyright are dependent upon the specific type of intellectual property. The institutions shall assert limited ownership of some of the various rights as set forth below. Since the Board has a fiduciary responsibility for the appropriate use of state funds, unless otherwise provided for under this policy, all rights associated with works produced as "work-for-hire" or other works that make "substantial use" of institutional resources belong to the institution. "Substantial use" means that the creator receives more than normal support for the project or receives time and/or resources specifically dedicated to the project.

1. Mediated Courseware

(a) Institutions shall have limited ownership or control rights for mediated courseware as specified below:

(1) Self-initiated mediated courseware. When employees develop mediated courseware without specific direction by the institution, unless otherwise agreed, the ownership of the courseware shall remain with the employee. Normally, no royalty, rent or other consideration shall be paid to the employee when that mediated courseware is used for instruction at the institution and such mediated courseware shall not be used or modified without the consent of the creator(s). The mediated courseware shall not be sold, leased, rented or otherwise used in a manner that competes in a substantial way with the for-credit offering of his/her own institution unless that transaction has received the approval of the chief academic officer of the institution. Should approval be granted to offer the course outside of the institution, the creator shall reimburse the institution for substantial use of institutional resources from revenues derived from the transaction offering the course.

(2) Institution-directed mediated courseware. When the institution specifically directs the creation of mediated courseware by assigning one or more employees to develop the mediated courseware and supplies them with materials and time to develop the mediated courseware, the resulting medicated courseware belongs to the institution and the institution shall have the right to revise it and decide who will utilize the mediated courseware in instruction. The institution may specifically agree to share revenues and control rights with the employee.

(b) Institutions shall develop procedures for reporting the development of mediated courseware to the appropriate administrator at the institution.

2. Scholarly and Artistic Works

Notwithstanding any use of institutional resources or the "work-for-hire" principle, the ownership of textbooks, scholarly monographs, trade publications, maps, charts, articles in popular magazines and newspapers, novels, nonfiction works, artistic works, like works, and supporting materials shall reside with the creator(s) and any revenue derived from their work shall belong to the creator(s). Except for textbooks, institutions shall have royalty-free use of the work within the institution, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

3. Manuscripts for Academic Journals

(a) Notwithstanding any use of institutional resources or the "work-for-hire" principle, the ownership of manuscripts for publication in academic journals shall reside with the creator(s) and any revenue derived from their works shall belong to the creator(s).

(b) If the manuscript is to be published, the creator(s) shall request the right to provide the institution with a royalty-free right to use the manuscript within the institution in its teaching, research, and service programs, but not for external distribution, and, if successful, the creator(s) shall grant such right to the institution.

(c) Upon the establishment of national governmental or nonprofit entities whose purpose is to maintain in an electronically accessible manner a publicly available copy of academic manuscripts, the Kansas Board of Regents will review each entity and upon determination that providing the manuscripts will not jeopardize the publication of articles or infringe on academic freedom, require the creator(s) to provide to the appropriate entity a limited license for the use of each manuscript.

4. Copyrightable Software

The rights to copyrightable software with an actual or projected market value in excess of $10,000 annually, except software included in mediated courseware, shall be determined pursuant to the Board’s Patent and Copyrightable Software Policy.

5. Student Academic Creations

The ownership of student works submitted in fulfillment of academic requirements shall be with the creator(s). The student, by enrolling in the institution, gives the institution 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 the institution’s Intellectual Property Policy or in the course syllabus. The institution shall not have the right to use the work in any other manner without the written consent of the creator(s).

B. Patent and Copyrightable Software Policy

Patents obtained on inventions or the ownership of copyrightable software with an actual or projected market value in excess of $10,000 annually resulting from institutionally sponsored research shall be retained by the institution or may be assigned to an organization (hereinafter called the Organization) independent of the institution and created for the purpose of obtaining patents on inventions, receiving gifts, administering or disposing of such patents, and promoting research and the development of intellectual property at the institution by every proper means. The following regulations shall be followed with respect to inventions or software: (10-19-00)
1. Anyone who conceives an invention or who develops copyrightable software that is not included in mediated courseware resulting from a research project sponsored by the institution shall report the matter to the appropriate research administrator at the institution, who will recommend whether or not to forward it to the Organization. (10-19-00)

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

3. When any revenue is obtained by or on behalf of the institution from the development or assignment of any patent or from royalties, license fees or other charges based on any patent or copyrightable software, not less than twenty-five (25) percent of revenues shall be paid to the inventor(s) or creator(s). Revenue sharing shall begin only after the institution recoups costs as set forth in this policy.

4. The remainder of any revenue mentioned in Paragraph 3 shall be used to sponsor further research and research-related activities in the institution. The institution may agree that the Organization may retain a portion of the funds.

5. In case of cooperative research sponsored in part by an outside corporation or individual, a written contract shall be made between the institution and the cooperating agency. This contract should include a statement of policy substantially equivalent to that outlined below:

"It is agreed by the parties to this contract that all results of experimental work, including inventions, carried on under the direction of the scientific staff of the institution, belong to the institution and to the public 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 grow out of the investigation and such inventions or software have commercial value, the cooperating agency shall receive preferential consideration as a prospective licensee, with a view to compensating said cooperating agency in part for the assistance rendered in the investigation."

"It is further agreed that the name of the institution shall not be used by the cooperating agency in any advertisement, whether with regard to the cooperative agreement or any other related matter."

6. In case of a research project where it is proposed that all costs including overhead, salary of investigator, reasonable rent on the use of equipment, etc., are to be paid by an outside party, the institution shall negotiate with the outside party the appropriate disposition of any resulting patent or copyrightable software rights prior to the provision of any funding by the outside party. "Appropriate disposition" shall include an option to negotiate a license to any resulting intellectual property. The institution shall reserve a royalty-free right to publish all data of fundamental value to science and technology and to use the patent or copyrightable software rights for teaching, research or other educational and academic purposes. (02-17-10)

7. Changes in the above policies may be made by the institution to conform to the requirements of the United States Government when contracting with the United States Government or a Federal Government Agency.
C. Trademark Policy
Each institution may develop a trademark policy that provides for the protection of the trademarks and servicemarks of the institution.
D. Institutional Procedures
The institution shall establish procedures that require employment contracts and course catalogs or syllabi to state that the employee or student is subject to this policy and to resolve questions concerning intellectual property rights and any disputes that develop under this policy. Final decisions on disputed matters will be made by the Chief Executive Officer or designee and shall constitute final agency action. (11-19-98)