April 9, 2003
President of the Faculty Senate
Re: Request to Review Draft Revisions of University Intellectual Property Policies
Dear Professor Cox:
About two years ago then Vice President David Skorton and General Counsel Mark Schantz charged a committee to review and propose any necessary revisions to the University's policies on patents and copyrights. The committee has now prepared a consensus draft and seeks comments and advice from the Faculty Senate. If you could bring the matter before the Senate on April 15, we would be grateful. In parallel we are seeking comments and advice from the Staff Council and student government groups. We expect additional comments from academic administrators.
The offered draft reflects the committee's desire to assure the currency, clarity, and academic appropriateness of the institution's intellectual property policies. In undertaking the task of reviewing and revising our extant policies the committee read a large number of policies from peer institutions as well as advisory documents from groups such as the AAU and the AAUP.
In its broadest terms the proposed draft shares many characteristics with extant policies. For example, the current allocation of ownership rights in patents arising from University research largely is carried forward into the new draft. Similarly, the conventional allocation of ownership rights in copyright materials remains largely intact in the new draft. The committee was united in its desire not to disrupt the tradition that faculty authors own the copyright in their original scholarly and pedagogical materials--and that faculty artists own the copyright in their original creative works.
The new policies do propose some changes, however. Significant differences include:
* Creation of a new intellectual property advisory committee
* Alteration of the formula by which earnings from intellectual property are distributed. The revised policy proposes that a greater share of net earnings be allocated to individual inventors or authors and provides an opportunity for colleges to participate directly in contextually large earnings.
* Addition of a set of examples that illustrate potential applications of the policies
* Articulation of the view that the institution will not waive ownership of patent rights allocated to it under law and policy.
We look forward to the chance to meet with the Faculty Senate on April 15. We attach a roster of committee members for your convenience. Thank you.
Bruce Wheaton Grainne Martin
Executive Director Senior Associate Counsel
University of Iowa University of Iowa
Bill Decker, VP for Research
Gay Pelzer, Associate Counsel
Katherine Tachau, Professor
Lee Anna Clark, Associate Provost
Mark Janis, Professor
Michael Kienzle, Associate Dean
Nancy Baker, University Librarian