University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

1400.000 Intellectual Property

The content of this page applies to UEA employees on the University of Minnesota, Duluth campus.

1405.000 Purpose.

This policy exists to encourage research and innovation, clarify ownership of intellectual property rights, create opportunities for public use of University innovations, and provide for the equitable distribution of monetary and other benefits derived from intellectual property.

1410.000 Effective Date.

This policy is effective retroactive to October 8, 1999 for all Members.

1420.000 Creator

"Creator" means the individual or group of individuals who invented, authored, or were otherwise responsible for the intellectual creation of the intellectual property, as defined in the applicable intellectual property statutes.

1420.200 Intellectual Property.

"Intellectual property" means any invention, discovery, improvement, copyrightable work, integrated circuit mask work, trademark, trade secret, and licensable know-how and related rights. Intellectual property includes, but is not limited to, individual or multimedia works of art or music, records of confidential information generated or maintained by the University, data, texts, instructional materials, tests, bibliographies, research findings, organisms, cells, viruses, DNA sequences, other biological materials, probes, crystallographic coordinates, plant lines, chemical compounds, and theses. Intellectual property may exist in a written or electronic form, may be raw or derived, and may be in the form of text, multimedia, computer programs, spreadsheets, formatted fields in records or forms within files, databases, graphics, digital images, video and audio recordings, live video or audio broadcasts, performances, two or three-dimensional works of art, musical compositions, executions of processes, film, film strips, slides, charts, transparencies, other visual/aural aids or CD-ROMS.

1420.300 Net Income.

"Net income" means the gross monetary payments the University receives as a result of transferring rights in the intellectual property less the University's out-of-pocket expenditures (including legal fees) directly attributable to protecting, developing, and transferring that intellectual property

1420.400 Regular Academic Work Product.

"Regular academic work product" means any copyrightable work product which is an artistic creation or which constitutes, or is intended to disseminate the results of, academic research or scholarly study. Regular academic work product includes, but is not limited to, books, class notes, theses and dissertations, course materials designed for the web, distance education and other technology-oriented educational materials, articles, poems, musical works, dramatic works, pantomimes and choreographic works, pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, or other works of artistic imagination. Software specifically needed to support a regular academic work product or which is designed to disseminate the results of academic research and scholarly study is also considered a regular academic work product.

1420.500 Specially Commissioned Work.

"Specially Commissioned Work" means a work specially ordered or commissioned and which the University and the creator expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them shall be considered as such.

1430.000 University Ownership.

Subject to the exceptions in Section 1440.000, the University shall be the sole owner of all intellectual property created through the use of University resources or facilities, supported directly or indirectly by funds administered by the University, developed within the scope of employment by Members, agreed in writing to be a specially commissioned work, or assigned in writing to the University.

1440.000 Exceptions to University Ownership.

1440.100 Regular Academic Work Product.

A regular academic work product is owned by the creator and not the University. This subdivision does not apply to a regular academic work product that is assigned in writing to the University or specifically ordered or commissioned and designated in writing by the creator and University as a specially commissioned work.

1440.200 Course Requirement.

Intellectual property created solely for the purpose of satisfying a course requirement is owned by the creator and not the University. This subdivision does not apply if the creator assigns ownership rights in the intellectual property to the University in writing or assignment of such ownership rights to the University is made a condition for participation in a course.

1440.300 Pre-Existing Rights.

If the intellectual property referred to in Sections 1440.100 and 1440.200 is a derivative of or otherwise uses preexisting University-owned intellectual property, this section shall not prevent the University from asserting its preexisting rights.

1440.400 Contractual Agreements.

For intellectual property created in the course of or pursuant to sponsored research, external sales, industrial affiliates programs, or other contractual arrangements with external (non-University) parties, ownership will be determined in accordance with the terms of the University's agreement with the external party and applicable law.

1440.500 Outside Consulting Activities.

For intellectual property created in the course of or pursuant to activities that fall within and comply with Section 1200.000, ownership will be determined in accordance with the terms of any agreement governing intellectual property developed pursuant to such activities.

1450.000 Use of Intellectual Property.

1450.100 Rights to Publish.

Nothing in this policy shall be construed as affecting the rights of a creator to publish, except that the creator must agree to observe a brief period of delay in publication or external dissemination if the University so requests and such a delay is necessary to permit the University to secure protections for intellectual property disclosed to it by the creator.

1450.200 Use of Teaching Materials.

In order to facilitate joint work on teaching materials and support collaborative teaching, and notwithstanding the ownership rights otherwise granted by this policy, individuals who contribute teaching materials used in jointly developed and taught University courses thereby grant a nonexclusive, nontransferable license to the University to permit other contributors to the course to continue using those jointly produced teaching materials in University courses.

1460.000 Distribution of Income.

1460.100 Academic Research or Scholarly Study.

Unless otherwise agreed in writing by the University and creator, in the event that the University receives income from intellectual property that is derived from academic research or scholarly study, that is disclosed to and licensed or otherwise transferred by the University's technology transfer unit, and that is not agreed in writing to be a specially commissioned work, any net income will be divided as follows:

  1. 33-1/3% to the creator;
  2. 33-1/3% to the Office of the Vice President for Research to support the University's technology transfer unit and to support research and scholarly activity at the University;
  3. 8% to the creator's colleges or schools that supported the creation of the intellectual property; and
  4. 25-1/3% to the department, division, or center that supported the creation of the intellectual property to be spent in support of the creator's research or other directly related University work.

1460.200 Changes to Distribution.

Changes to the distribution of income under Section 1460.100 c) and d) may be appropriate if the income to a department, division, or center becomes disproportionate compared to the unit's budget or if there are administrative organizational changes, including movement of the creator among units. Decisions about redistribution of income under such circumstances shall be made by the vice president for research in consultation with the Senate Committee on Research and the deans of the appropriate colleges or schools.

1460.300 Other Intellectual Property.

If the University receives income from intellectual property disclosed to and licensed or otherwise transferred by the University's technology transfer unit and not covered by sections 1460.100 and 1460.200, it may be appropriate to share some portion of the net income with the creator in the form of a bonus or other temporary salary supplement. Any such distribution will be made in the discretion of the vice president for research in consultation with the creator's supervisor.

1470.000 University Responsibilities.

The University shall have the responsibility to:

  1. provide oversight of intellectual property management and technology transfer,
  2. establish effective procedures for licensing and patenting intellectual property,
  3. promote effective distribution and marketing of intellectual property,
  4. protect the University's intellectual property, and
  5. inform individuals covered by this policy about its provisions.

1480.000 Responsibilities of Applicable Individuals.

All Members have a responsibility to:

  1. adhere to the principles embodied in this policy;
  2. sign, when so requested by the University, the University's Intellectual Property Policy Acknowledgment;
  3. create, retain, and use intellectual property according to the applicable local, state, federal, and international laws and University policies;
  4. disclose promptly in writing intellectual property owned by the University pursuant to this policy or created pursuant to sponsored research or other contractual arrangements with external parties that are governed by Section 1440.500 and assign title to such intellectual property to the University or its designee to enable the University to satisfy the terms of any applicable funding or contractual arrangement; and
  5. cooperate with the University in securing and protecting the University's intellectual property, including cooperation in obtaining patent, copyright, or other suitable protection for such intellectual property and in legal actions taken in response to infringement.

1490.00 Compliance.

Failure to comply with the provisions of this policy is a violation and may result in discipline of a Member in accordance with applicable University policies and procedures.