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University of Iowa Intellectual Property Policy

 

 

Section 1:  Nature of the Policy Statement: 

 

The University’s policy on intellectual property pertains to patentable inventions and copyright protected works created by its faculty members, staff members, post-doctoral appointees and students.  Because there are differences between the legal and academic treatment of copyright-protected works and patentable inventions, the University provides two companion policy statements: a Patent Policy and a Copyright Policy.

 

 

Section 2:  Administration of the Policy

 

The University of Iowa Intellectual Property Policy, comprising its Patent Policy and its Copyright Policy, shall be administered under the oversight of the Vice President for Research.  The Vice President shall appoint an Intellectual Property Committee.  The role of the Intellectual Property Committee shall be to advise the Vice President for Research regarding intellectual property matters including, but not limited to, the resolution of disputes arising from the application of the policy; in addition, the Committee shall advise the Vice President of any need for altering the policy or its administrative implementation.  In appointing members of the Intellectual Property Committee, the Vice President shall seek to include members from all constituencies affected by the policy.  The Vice President will seek advice prior to appointing Committee members from such established groups as the Faculty Senate, the Staff Council, and the Student Senate.

 

This policy shall apply prospectively to all inventions and copyright works disclosed on or after the date of its adoption as policy by the Iowa State Board of Regents. 

 

 

University of Iowa Patent Policy

 

Section 1:  Introduction

 

1.1:  Nature of a Patent

 

Patent protection provides the owner with a limited period of time in which the owner can exclude others from making, using, offering to sell, or selling the invention.  The resulting temporary exclusive rights to the invention can provide an incentive for a patent owner or a licensee to invest the resources required to advance the invention toward commercialization and use by the public. In return for offering temporary exclusive rights to the owner of a patent, a government requires the owner of the patent to make details of the invention available to the public in the patent document.  Under U.S. law, the life of a patent extends 20 years from the date of application.

 

A patent is the grant of a property right by a government to the owner of an invention.  Unlike copyright protections, patent rights do not follow automatically from the act of creation.  The inventor or the patent’s owner generally must request patent protection from the government of each country in which a patent is desired.  The Patent Office in each country then will examine the application against its own laws and regulations and will---in due course---either deny or allow the grant of a patent in its jurisdiction.  Because patent laws and associated administrative procedures are fairly complex, patent applications generally are prepared and prosecuted by specialists working on behalf of the inventor or owner. 

 

1.2:  Inventions Eligible for Patent Protection

 

In the U.S., an invention or discovery may be eligible for patent protection if it is a process, a machine, a manufactured object, a composition of matter, or a new use or improvement of any of the preceding.  Courts have interpreted the Patent Statute to extend to software-related inventions when there is some connection to a useful, concrete result and to biological substances when there is some evidence of human intervention.  For example, isolated DNA sequences or their purified protein products can be patented because in their “natural” states they are neither isolated nor purified.  New uses of “products of nature” also may be patented, as may genetic modifications of otherwise natural organisms.

 

If an invention meets the threshold eligibility conditions for patenting, it still must meet additional criteria in order to earn a patent. Under U.S. law, a patented invention must be useful, novel, not obvious and supported by adequate information.

 

1.3:  Nature of Inventorship

 

To be named as an “inventor” on a patent an individual must have made an original contribution to the conceptualization of the invention as it is defined in the patent.  The aspects of a patent that assert the defining elements of an invention are called the “claims” of the patent. If an individual has made a contribution to the conceptualization of anyone defining claim of patent, then he or she is an “inventor” of the claimed invention.  If any individual is responsible for all the claims of a patent, then he/she is the sole inventor of the patent.  In any other situation, the patent will have more than one co-inventor.  One is not an inventor if his/her contribution was limited to “reducing to practice” the conception of the invention.   

 

1.4:  Objectives of the University of Iowa Patent Policy

 

The primary objective of the University of Iowa Patent Policy is to enable the public to use and benefit from inventions originating at the University.  In pursuing this objective, the University will seek to manage inventions in a way that advances the academic missions of the institution, including research and scholarship.   The Patent Policy further provides a framework for the orderly transfer of academic inventions to the private sector in exchange for equitable compensation to the institution as well as to individual inventors.  In keeping with the University’s academic objectives, the policy directs that portions of the institutional earnings from any patent will support research broadly across campus, research related to the patent, and administrative efforts to secure and manage additional patents.

 

Section 2:  The Policy

 

2.1:  Summary of the Policy

 

Through its designee, the University of Iowa Research Foundation, the University will assume ownership of patents on qualifying inventions made by its employees and appointees. In a limited number of situations, the University, through its designee, will assume ownership of patents on qualifying inventions made by students and institutional visitors. Earnings from patents subject to this policy will be distributed according to the provisions of this policy.  

 

2.2:  Applicability of the Policy

 

The policy applies to inventions meeting either of the criteria below.  For convenience, inventions meeting either of these criteria will be designated as “Qualifying Inventions.”

 

A.  Inventions made by University employees or postdoctoral appointees in the course of their employment or appointment or in a field or discipline reasonably related to the inventor’s/inventors’ field(s) of employment or appointment.

B.   Inventions enabled by significant use of University resources when made by University employees, postdoctoral appointees, students whose inventive contribution did not arise from employment by the University, or institutional visitors not employed by the University.   In both a. and b., “employees” includes faculty members, staff members, part-time employees, and student employees.

 

The following, when customarily provided to researchers in their respective disciplines and units, shall not be considered significant use of University resources: salary, developmental assignment or award, library resources, computers, communications technologies, secretarial services, assigned offices and laboratories, and utilities.

 

Significant use of University resources may include: use of substantial funds received by the University through a contract or grant, use of funds allocated from internal discretionary pools, assistance of support staff outside of the inventor’s department or unit or, assistance of support staff from the inventor’s department when such is assistance is greater than that normally provided others in the department. Significant use of University resources also may include use of shared research equipment or facilities.

 

2.3:  Role of the University of Iowa Research Foundation

 

The University of Iowa designates the University of Iowa Research Foundation (“UIRF”) as the owner of its patent rights and manager of its interests in Qualifying Inventions. 

 

2.4:  Disclosure Required

 

Any individual who believes that he or she has made, or contributed to the making of, a Qualifying Invention must disclose the invention in writing to the UIRF on the Invention Disclosure Form provided by UIRF. [add link]

 

2.5:  University Rights in Qualifying Inventions

 

On behalf of the University, UIRF shall assume ownership of patents to Qualifying Inventions.  In order for the UIRF to assume ownership, inventors subject to this policy shall assign to the UIRF their entire right in the invention and shall provide reasonable assistance to the UIRF in obtaining patent protection and in licensing the patent rights to others.   In the case of Qualifying Inventions arising from federal research support, this assertion of ownership rights follows from federal law [add link to Bayh-Dole explanation].  In other contexts, the University’s right to require assignment from its employees or appointees will be understood as a condition of employment or appointment.  Similarly, the limited right of the University to claim ownership of patents in inventions made by students will be understood as a condition of enrollment, whereas the limited right of the University to claim ownership of patents to inventions made by institutional visitors will be understood as a condition of their access to institutional resources.  Institutional visitors must acknowledge in writing their awareness of this policy before making use of institutional resources.

 

If UIRF informs in writing the University Inventor(s) that it does not wish to file a patent application in any territory based on a disclosure by the inventor(s), the inventor(s) may request from UIRF an opportunity to take on the prosecution of the patent application.  The inventor(s) may request that UIRF waive its rights to the invention in the territory(ies) in which the UIRF has elected not to file.  UIRF will not unreasonably deny such a request.  However, any waiver of rights will be subject to the interests of any third parties, including, but not limited to, sponsors of the research leading to the invention. In addition, any waiver of the institution's rights in the patent application will expressly allow the University to continue to use the invention for research purposes and will be limited to the scope of the invention as disclosed and as used as a basis for UIRF's determination not to file an application in the territory(ies).   UIRF waiver of institutional interest in an invention may result in personal ownership of the invention by University Inventor(s) who wish to conduct further research on the invention within the institution.  Such inventor(s) should be mindful that use of personally-owned patents in an institutional setting may create a conflict of interest requiring disclosure and management under the institution's policies pertaining to conflict of interest.

 

2.6:  Licensure of Inventions Assigned to UIRF

 

Consistent with the objectives of this policy and subject to the rights of any other parties, UIRF will seek diligently to license to others the right to use inventions under patents assigned to it. 

 

2.7:  Distribution of Proceeds of Licensure

 

The UIRF shall receive all payments due under a license and shall distribute such earnings under the terms of this policy within 45 days from the end of the quarter in which the earnings were received.  Prior to any distribution the UIRF shall recover any out-of-pocket expenses incurred in applying for the licensed patent(s), maintaining the licensed patents(s), or defending the licensed patent(s).  Also prior to any distribution under this policy the UIRF shall make any payments to others required by agreements, including but not limited to interinstitutional agreements for the management of jointly owned patents.  Gross UIRF earnings, less its out-of-pocket expenses and less payments required to others is designated as "Distributable Income."  Distributable Income shall be allocated as follows:

 

2.7.a The first $100,000 of distributable, cumulative income earned under a single license will go to the inventor(s).

 

2.7.b After the first $100,000 is distributed to the inventor(s) any further distributable income will be allocated as follows unless income in any fiscal year triggers the conditions of section 2.7.c below:

*25 % of distributable income to inventor(s)

*25% of distributable income to UIRF

*20% of distributable income to an institutional “research enrichment fund”  (REF) administered on a discretionary basis by the UI VP for Research

*15% of distributable income to the department from which the invention arose

*15% of distributable income to the college from which the invention arose

 

2.7.c In the event that income from a single license or licensure of a single patent or set of patents exceeds $10 million in any single fiscal year the University itself shall be granted a share of distributable income in that year, it being understood that the University President shall determine the use of such institutional share.  In any year in which an institutional share is awarded, the shares allocated to the UIRF, REF, college and department will be reduced.  The share allocated to inventor(s) shall remain at 25%.  In the event that distributable income from a single license or from licensure of a single patent or set of patents exceeds additional thresholds over $10 million, the institutional allocation for that year shall grow while the allocations to UIRF, REF, department, and college will be further reduced.  The following summarizes the intention of the policy:

 

* When annual income is greater than $10 million, the next $ five million in annual income shall be distributed as follows:

 

* Inventor(s) 25%

* UIRF 20%

*REF 16%

* Department 12%

* College 12%

* University 15%

 

The next $10 million in annual income shall be distributed as follows:

 

*Inventor(s) 25%

* UIRF 17%

*REF 13%

* Department 10%

* College 10%

* University 25%

 

Any further income in that year shall be distributed as:

 

*Inventor(s) 25%

* UIRF 13%

*REF 11%

* Department 8%

* College 8%

* University 35%

 

2.7.d  Additional considerations:  The UI shall allow the UIRF to maintain an operating reserve equal to the estimated annual operating budget of UIRF.  Every two years the board of the UIRF will propose to the President of the UI the appropriate level for the operating reserve.  If the President approves the modified level, the size of the reserve may be increased or decreased accordingly.  In addition, the UI shall allow the UIRF to maintain a litigation reserve of $2 million.  At such point as documented national norms for the cost of patent litigation may change, the board of the UIRF may seek permission from the President of the University to alter the size of the litigation reserve.

 

In any single fiscal year UIRF may apply its share of earnings to its operating costs, the establishment of the operating reserve at the then authorized level, and the establishment of a litigation reserve at the then authorized level.   UIRF will return to the UI any excess according to this formula:  50% to the REF and 50% to the University.  The University may choose to allocate a portion of its share to departments and colleges whose inventions made significant contributions to the earnings in that year.

 

When more than one University inventor is named on any licensed patent,  the inventors will receive equal portions of the share of distributable income allocated to that patent unless there is a modifying written agreement signed by all inventors and approved by the UIRF.

 

If an inventor is appointed in more than one department,  the related departmental shares will be equivalent to the share each contributes to the inventor’s salary. If the appointing departments are in different colleges, the related collegiate shares will be pro-rated on the same basis as the departmental shares.  From time to time, it may be appropriate to allocate a portion of income otherwise granted to an academic department to an organized research unit.  Any share granted to a “center,” “institute,” or other similar, formally acknowledged organized research unit will be determined by the Vice President for Research after consultation with the organization’s director as well as relevant academic officers.  In making any such determination, the Vice President should consider the optimal means of advancing research at the institution.

 

 

Section 3:  Administration of Policy

 

3.1 Patent Advisory Group

 

The University of Iowa Intellectual Property Policy, of which this Patent Policy is a component, shall be administered under the oversight of the Vice President for Research.  The Vice President shall be advised on matters pertaining to the Patent Policy by the Patent Advisory Group, a subcommittee of the University of Iowa Intellectual Property Committee.  The Intellectual Property Committee, the responsibilities and composition of which are set forth in Section 2 of the University’s overarching Intellectual Property Policy, shall be appointed by the Vice President for Research, who also shall designate those of its members who will comprise the Copyright Advisory Group.  The Vice President for Research will consult with the Provost when designating members of the Patent Advisory Group.

 

The role of the Patent Advisory Group shall be to advise and make recommendations to the Vice President for Research regarding patent matters, including, but not limited to, the following:

 

A. Resolution of disputes concerning the application and interpretation of the Patent Policy;

B. Amendments to the Patent Policy resulting from technological and legislative changes affecting patent; and

C. Changes to administrative procedures involved in the implementation of the Patent Policy.

 

In addition, the Patent Advisory Group shall provide a forum to which faculty, staff, and students may refer questions and recommendations about the Patent Policy.  Further, the Patent Advisory Committee may advise UIRF on the disposition of selected invention disclosures,

 

The day-to-day administration of the Patent Policy will be performed on behalf of the University by the University of Iowa Research Foundation, under the supervision of the Vice President for Research.

 

3.3 Appeal process

 

Any University faculty member, staff member, postdoctoral scholar, or student who believes he/she is adversely affected by any action or non-action of the Vice President for Research or UIRF pursuant to the Patent Policy may appeal such action or non-action.  Where the action or non-action is based on the University’s statutory or contractual obligations, or where the action or non-action has resulted in a contract or license, any such appeal may be presented in writing to the President of the University.  In the case of any other basis for the action or non-action, the appeal may be made pursuant to the grievance process normally applicable to the individual’s University status.  In order for an appeal to be lodged under the processes cited here, the basis for the appeal must be based on (a) the precepts of the Patent Policy, or (b) Patent Law, or (c) contract law applied to a research agreement or license relevant to the appeal.

 

Section 4:  Examples

 

Case 1:  Faculty member A makes an invention while working under the terms of a federal research grant.  The UIRF assumes ownership of the related patent.  (See 2.2.a and 2.5.)

 

Case 2:  Faculty member B is an acknowledged expert in cancer therapy.  Working at her desk at home on Saturday, she designs a chemical compound that may fight non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  The UIRF assumes ownership of the related patent.  (See 2.2.a and 2.5.)

 

Case 3:  Staff member C is employed by the University to fabricate medical devices.  Working in his garage on Saturday, C invents a novel device for pruning rose bushes.  The UIRF may not assume ownership of the related patent.  (See 2.2.a and b.)

 

Case 4:  D is a researcher spending a year-long leave at the University.  D is not an employee of the University but is assigned a laboratory at the University and is provided access to University research equipment.  Working in a University laboratory, D invents a device for monitoring airflow in a wind tunnel.  The UIRF assumes ownership of the related patent.  (See 2.2.b and 2.5).   Note that D must acknowledge in writing awareness of the University’s Patent Policy prior to beginning work.

 

Case 5:  As a result of a class assignment, Student E invents a novel method of manufacturing a fine chemical.  UIRF’s review of E’s obligatory disclosure determines that E did not make significant use of University resources in making the invention.   The UIRF may not assume ownership of the related patent.   (See 2.2.b.)

 

Case 6: Working on her dissertation in her advisor’s laboratory, Student F invents a novel method for the manufacture of a pharmaceutical agent.  Review of F’s obligatory disclosure determines that F did make significant use of University resources in making the invention.  The UIRF assumes ownership of the related patent.  (See 2.2.b and 2.5.)

 

Case 7:  Faculty member I discloses an invention to UIRF.  In the course of reviewing the disclosed invention it becomes clear that a national professional organization of which I is a member has issued an advisory suggesting that inventions such as I’s should not be patented.  The matter is referred to the board of the UIRF.  The board heeds the advice of the professional organization and directs that a patent application should not be filed.  (See 2.5.)

 

Case 8:  Faculty Member J makes an invention in collaboration with a colleague at another university.  By application of its own patent policy, the employer of J’s collaborator has an ownership right in the resulting patent because of the collaborator’s inventive contribution.  Similarly, UIRF has an ownership right in the resulting patent as a result of J’s inventive contribution.  The UIRF and the employer of J’s collaborator enter an interinstitutional agreement, or “IIA,” specifying that the joint ownership rights shall be licensed together and that any earnings from such a joint license will be divided equally.  In the event UIRF is the designated in the IIA as the manager of the jointly owned patent, it would receive earnings attributable to both parties.  After out of pocket expenses are recovered, UIRF would disburse to its partner university its share of earnings, with the retained remainder treated as Distributable Income under this policy. (See Section 2.5)

 

University of Iowa Copyright Policy

 

Section 1:  Introduction

 

1.1  What is “Copyright”? 

 

A copyright is a form of intellectual property protection provided by law for certain original works including written works, software, and selected audio, visual, or performed compositions.  More detailed information on copyrights is available at http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/.

 

The copyright protects the particular form of expression rather than the subject matter or content of the work.  One cannot copyright an idea, only the particular expression of the idea.  Unlike patent protection, copyright protection exists from the time an original work is created, and vests immediately when the work is fixed in a “tangible medium” for the first time.  Such tangible media might include paper, a computer disk, or granite. 

 

Holding a copyright allows the owner certain exclusive prerogatives including the right to reproduce and distribute the protected material, the right to prepare “derivative works” based on the protected material, and (in the case of various artistic works) the right to display or perform the protected work.  The owner of a copyright may convey to others all or some of the rights inherent in the copyright.  For example, the owner of a copyright may “assign” all interest in the protected material to another.  Alternatively, the owner of a copyright may grant a limited “permission” that allows another to use the protected material.  In some cases, the owner of a copyright may grant a “license” to another that specifies the nature of any permitted uses of the copyright material. 

 

1.2  The Importance of an Academic Copyright Policy:

 

Members of the University community—faculty, staff, and students—create each day large volumes of material that are subject to copyright protection.  These various creations include such dissimilar works as scholarly monographs and journal articles, musical compositions, novels, textbooks, lectures, class outlines, poems, administrative software, dances, paintings, experimental software, promotional brochures, administrative correspondence, sculptures, multimedia teaching materials, videotapes, and policy documents.  Many of these works have various functions and origins within the academic context.  Some works arise directly from the pursuit of scholarly or creative activity and serve to convey the results of these activities; other works do not.   Because copyright law and its policy-based application at the University will attribute both ownership rights and the associated rights to control subsequent uses of the protected works, an academic copyright policy must carefully balance a number of important objectives.  These objectives must accommodate the various functions and origins of copyright works created at the institution.

 

1.3  The Objective of the University of Iowa Copyright Policy:

 

The objective of the University’s Copyright Policy is to advance the mission of the University by:

 

A.     Encouraging and supporting the exercise of academic freedom, innovation, and creativity;

B.     Structuring the rights of ownership and the rights to use copyright materials created by members of the University community in a way that:

i.         Enables the timely dissemination of materials resulting from the scholarship, teaching, research, and creative activities of faculty, staff, and students;

ii.       Permits the University to retain a copyright in and/or use materials created by members of the University community under certain circumstances;

iii.      Permits the University to meet contractual obligations to outside entities; and

iv.     Accommodates and is consistent with related University policies;

C.     Assuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations in the management of copyright materials.

 

Section 2:  The University of Iowa Copyright Policy

 

2.1:  Summary of the Policy:

 

In order to meet the preceding various objectives, this policy allocates the ownership of copyrightable works created by faculty, staff, and students.  Consistent with academic tradition and the expressed desire to encourage dissemination of the results of scholarship and research, the University agrees that in most cases, individual creators of copyrightable works of scholarship, research, or pedagogy, as well as creators of original works of art and literature, typically will hold personal copyright ownership of those works.  The policy also specifies a limited body of works that will be owned by the University. In some cases “individual” ownership might be distributed over a group of joint authors or creators.  In other cases, an individual or group of individuals might hold joint ownership with the University.

 

2.2:  The Policy:

 

2.2.a  Individual Ownership of Copyrights:  The University does not claim ownership of copyright in pedagogical, scholarly, artistic, or research works regardless of the mode of expression except when a work is described in section 2.2.2 below.  Therefore, in those instances where the University does not claim ownership of a copyright, the copyright will be owned by those defined as authors or creators under copyright law unless there is a contrary contractual or statutory obligation.  This disclaimer of University ownership interest in copyright materials applies to faculty and staff employees of the University, postdoctoral scholars, and to students when the works are created in the course of their educational pursuits.  However, for works created by a student solely in the course of the student’s employment by the University, the University may claim ownership if section 2.2.2 applies.  The University claims no ownership of copyright in any work created outside the scope of any employment within the University.  By way of illustration, see Section 4, Cases #1 through #4.

 

The University understands that academic authors may be asked to assign to a publisher the personal copyright ownership in works treated in this section of the policy.  The Board of Regents Policy Manual [hot link] encourages academic authors to seek to retain such personal ownership in the articles and reports they publish in scholarly journals and equivalent publications. The Regents policy does not encourage academic authors to seek to retain personal ownership in published works when doing so would not be feasible or when efforts to retain personal ownership would impede eventual publication of the work. The University is prepared to assist faculty members, staff members, students and post-doctoral appointees wishing to retain personal ownership of works that may be published in scholarly journals and the like.

 

2.2.b  University Ownership of Copyrights: The University has ownership, or the right to obtain ownership by assignment, of copyright in:

A.  Any particular and identifiable work created pursuant to either an oral or written agreement between the creator and the University (see Section 4, Case #6);

B.   Works created in the context of carrying out administrative duties for the University (see Section 4, Case #7);

C.  Any work created by a team of faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, and/or students of such size or over such an extended period of time that determination of a discrete number of creators would be impossible, impractical, or potentially unfair (see Section 4, Case #8);

D.  Any work created under the terms of a contract or other binding agreement with an entity, other than the University, when such contract or agreement requires University ownership of the work (see Section 4, Case #9);

E.   Any work created with a significant use of University resources (see Section 4, Cases 10, 11, and 12)].  For these purposes:

(i) The following, when customarily provided to authors or creators in their respective discipline and unit, shall not be considered significant use of University resources: salary, developmental assignment or award, library resources, computers, communications technologies, secretarial services, assigned offices and laboratories, and utilities.

(ii) Significant use of University resources may include: use of substantial funds received by the University through a contract or grant, use of funds allocated for distance learning programs, assistance of support staff outside of the creator’s department or unit or, assistance of support staff from the creator’s department when such is assistance is greater than that normally provided others in the department. Significant use of University resources also may include use of shared research equipment or facilities including use of University media production facilities.   The University may determine that it has an ownership interest in a particular copyright work developed with grant or contract funding when creation of the specific work in question was an identified objective of the grant or contract. Given this rationale, specific journal articles, monograph, or textbooks arising from grant or contract funding commonly would not be construed as identified objectives of the grant or contract but would be treated as academic benefits of having worked under grant or contract funding.   In the event that creation of a copyrighted work, such as a textbook, is an identified objective of a grant or contract, the institution will make a reasonable accommodation with the author consistent with established academic tradition.

F.   Any work created by professional and scientific staff members, merit staff members, or student employees whenever such work is the product of their assigned tasks or is a reasonably expected product of their employment.  Works made by professional, scientific, and merit staff members generally are subject to institutional ownership because they are either “assigned tasks” or “reasonably expected outcomes” of employment.  However, The University acknowledges that a limited number of professional staff members have certain prerogatives to set their own research, scholarly, pedagogical or creative tasks.  Accordingly, the University is prepared to acknowledge personal ownership of works arising from these professional endeavors subject to other conditions of this policy.  See Section 4, Cases #5, #13 and #14.

 

In any case where the University has the right to ownership under the provisions of this section 2.2.2, the University may require all persons who are employed by the University and who might otherwise have a potential claim to such work to execute a document as a condition of their employment in which they (a) state they have no rights to the work or (b) assign to the University those rights they may hold.    Any University employee who makes an assignment of a work to the University can request and will be granted a non-exclusive royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, perform, or display the assigned work for his or her own scholarly, research, or creative purposes.

 

Section 3:  Administration of Policy

 

3.1 Copyright Advisory Group

 

The University of Iowa Intellectual Property Policy, of which this Copyright Policy is a component, shall be administered under the oversight of the Vice President for Research.  The Vice President shall be advised on matters pertaining to the Copyright Policy by the Copyright Advisory Group, a subcommittee of the University of Iowa Intellectual Property Committee.  The Intellectual Property Committee, the responsibilities and composition of which are set forth in Section 2 of the University’s overarching Intellectual Property Policy, shall be appointed by the Vice President for Research, who also shall designate those of its members who will comprise the Copyright Advisory Group.  The Vice President for Research will consult with the Provost when designating members of the Copyright Advisory Group.

 

The role of the Copyright Advisory Group shall be to advise and make recommendations to the Vice President for Research regarding copyright matters, including, but not limited to, the following:

 

A.     Resolution of disputes concerning the application and interpretation of the Copyright Policy;

B.     Amendments to the Copyright Policy resulting from technological and legislative changes affecting copyright; and

C.     Changes to administrative procedures involved in the implementation of the Copyright Policy.

 

In addition, the Copyright Advisory Group shall provide a forum to which faculty, staff, and students may refer questions and recommendations about the Copyright Policy.

 

The day-to-day administration of the Copyright Policy will be performed on behalf of the University by the University of Iowa Research Foundation, under the supervision of the Vice President for Research.

 

3.2 Disclosure

 

Personally owned copyright works subject to 2.2.1 of this Policy need not be disclosed.  However, certain works created subject to 2.2.2 of this Policy should be disclosed. The creator of any work in which the University may have an ownership interest under section 2.2.2 of the Copyright Policy shall disclose the work promptly in writing to the University of Iowa Research Foundation using the disclosure form provided by that group.  Such disclosure shall be made as soon as possible when any of the following criteria apply:  (a) a third party has a contractual basis for asserting a right to use the work (e.g. as a consequence of a sponsored research agreement); (b) a third party has expressed interest in obtaining rights to use the work; (c) the creator(s) of the work believe that a third party could become interested in obtaining rights to use the work if made aware of an opportunity to do so; (d) the creator(s) of the work wish to assert personal copyright ownership in the work and so wish to request an institutional determination of their personal standing under the terms of this Policy.  

 

In those cases when a disclosure is made in order to request a determination of copyright ownership, the Research Foundation will provide a copy of the disclosure to the Vice President for Research and to the appropriate academic and/or administrative official(s) familiar with the circumstances in which the work in question was created.  Such official(s) then in turn will provide the Research Foundation any available information relevant to the questions of copyright ownership, rights to any proceeds, and other issues deemed relevant to the situation.  The Research Foundation shall then prepare an assessment for the Vice President for Research.   The final determination on these questions shall be the responsibility of the Vice President for Research, subject to the right of the creator(s) to appeal any such determination to the President of the University as provided in section 3.5 below.  Upon final resolution of the issues raised by the disclosure, the creator(s) and the University, where appropriate, will execute such agreements as are necessary to document clearly the rights and responsibilities of the parties.

 

3.3 Distribution of Income

 

The UIRF shall receive all payments due under a license and shall distribute such earnings under the terms of this policy within 45 days from the end of the quarter in which the earnings were received.  Prior to any distribution the UIRF shall recover any out-of-pocket expenses incurred in applying for the licensed copyrights(s), maintaining the licensed copyright(s), or defending the licensed copyright(s).  Also prior to any distribution under this policy the UIRF shall make any payments to others required by agreements, including but not limited to interinstitutional agreements for the management of jointly owned copyrights.  Gross UIRF earnings, less its out-of-pocket expenses, less payments required to others is designated as "Distributable Income."  Distributable Income shall be allocated as outlined below.  For clarity please note the following:  (a) The distribution protocols outlined do not apply to personally owned copyright but only to copyrights owned by UIRF on behalf of the institution; (b) in order to qualify for a share of Distributable Income allocated to “author(s)” an individual must have held a mutually-acknowledged ownership interest in the copyright to the subject work and must have assigned any legitimate copyright ownership he/she held to UIRF; (c) in the event that  no authors have assigned personal copyright ownership to UIRF, no author(s)’ share will be allocated.  In this case, all Distributable Income shall be allocated pro rata to the other recipient groups under 3.3.b below.   

 

3.3.a  The first $100,000 of distributable, cumulative income will go to the author(s).

 

3.3.b After the first $100,000 is distributed to the author(s), any further distributable income will be allocated as follows unless income in any fiscal year triggers the conditions of section 3.3.c below:

*25 % of distributable income to author(s)

*25% of distributable income to UIRF

*20% of distributable income to an institutional research enrichment fund (REF) administered on a discretionary basis by the VP for Research

*15% of distributable income to the department from which the copyright arose

*15% of distributable income to the college from which the copyright arose

 

3.3.c In the event that income from a single license or licensure of a single copyright or set of copyrights exceeds $10 million in any single fiscal year, the University itself shall be granted a share of distributable income in that year, it being understood that the University President shall determine the use of such institutional share.  In any year in which an institutional share is awarded, the shares allocated to the UIRF, REF, college and department will be reduced.  The share allocated to inventor(s) shall remain at 25%.  In the event that distributable income from a single license or from licensure of a single patent or set of patents exceeds additional thresholds over $10 million, the institutional allocation for that year shall grow while the allocations to UIRF, REF, department, and college will be further reduced.  The following summarizes the intention of the policy:

 

* When annual income is greater than $10 million, the next $ five million in annual income shall be distributed as follows:

 

* Inventor(s) 25%

* UIRF 20%

*REF 16%

* Department 12%

* College 12%

* University 15%

 

The next $10 million in annual income shall be distributed as follows:

 

*Inventor(s) 25%

* UIRF 17%

*REF 13%

* Department 10%

* College 10%

* University 25%

 

Any further income in that year shall be distributed as:

 

*Inventor(s) 25%

* UIRF 13%

*REF 11%

* Department 8%

* College 8%

* University 35%

 

3.4 Additional considerations

 

The UI shall allow the UIRF to maintain an operating reserve equal to the estimated annual operating budget of UIRF.  Every two years the board of the UIRF will propose to the President of the UI the appropriate level for the operating reserve.  If the President approves the modified level, the size of the reserve may be increased or decreased accordingly.  In addition, the UI shall allow the UIRF to maintain a litigation reserve of $2 million.  At such point as documented national norms for the cost of intellectual property litigation may change, the board of the UIRF may seek permission from the President of the University to alter the size of the litigation reserve.

 

In any single fiscal year UIRF may apply its share of earnings to its operating costs, the establishment of the operating reserve at the then authorized level, and the establishment of a litigation reserve at the then authorized level.   UIRF will return to the UI any excess according to this formula:  50% to the REF and 50% to the University.  The University may choose to allocate a portion of its share to departments and colleges whose copyrights made significant contributions to the earnings in that year.

 

3.5 Handling Copyright Works that may be Subject to Patent Protection

 

Certain works – particularly software – are subject to both copyright protection and patent protection.  In the event that a work created at the University is subject to both copyright protection and patent protection, a finding under this policy that copyright to the work will be owned by the author or authors will not obviate the University’s right to claim ownership in any associated patent or patents.  The University’s rights in patentable inventions are defined in the UI Patent Policy.

 

3.6 Appeal process

 

Any University faculty member, staff member, postdoctoral scholar, or student who believes he/she is adversely affected by any action or non-action of the Vice President for Research or UIRF pursuant to the Copyright Policy may appeal such action or non-action. Where the action or non-action is based on the University’s statutory or contractual obligations, or where the action or non-action has resulted in a contract or license, any such appeal may be presented in writing to the President of the University.  In the case of any other basis for the action or non-action, the appeal may be made pursuant to the grievance process normally applicable to the individual’s University status.   In order for an appeal to be lodged under the processes cited here, the basis for the appeal must be based on (a) the precepts of the Copyright Policy, or (b) contract law applied to a research agreement or license relevant to the appeal.

 

Section 4:  Illustrations of Policy Application

 

The following examples illustrate how the policy would apply to specific situations and are accompanied by references to the governing policy sections:

 

Case 1: Faculty member A writes an article using a computer and supplies provided by the University.  Copyright in the article belongs to A.  Faculty member A may choose to assign ownership of this copyright to a journal as part of a publication agreement without institutional involvement. [2.2.1]

 

Case 2: Faculty member B creates a painting using supplies and facilities of the University customarily provided to other faculty members in the unit.  Copyright in the painting belongs to  B. [2.2.1]

 

Case 3: Graduate Student C writes a dissertation while serving as a UI Research Assistant.  The student owns the copyright in the dissertation since it is an academic requirement. [2.2.1]

 

Case 4: Staff Member D, a nurse, writes a novel at home.  Copyright in the novel is owned by D since the work was not created within the scope of UI employment.  [2.2.1]

 

Case 5: Staff Member E, a senior research associate, writes a journal article based on original research conceived by and conducted by E.  E owns the copyright in the journal article since it is a scholarly work and is not a specified outcome of E’s employment by the UI.  [2.2.1 and also 2.2.2.f]

 

Case 6: The Executive Officer of an academic department asks faculty colleague F to write a summary of the department’s history for inclusion in the UI Catalogue.  F agrees to do so.  Copyright of the summary history belongs to the University since it is a specific work created as a consequence of an agreement between Faculty member F and a colleague acting on behalf of the institution.  [2.2.2.a]

 

Case 7: Faculty member G drafts a report for the University as part of an academic review of a department at the University.  Copyright of the report belongs to the University since G created it while carrying out an administrative assignment from the University.  [2.2.2.b]

 

Case 8: Beginning ten years ago, Faculty member H worked collaboratively with faculty and staff colleagues to develop successive versions of software designed to control a research apparatus in H’s laboratory.  The various collaborators did not document their individual contributions to the software and memory of any specific individual contributions to the earlier work has faded.  Copyright of the current version of the software belongs to the University since any assessment of individual copyright ownership of the current software would be impractical and could result in an unfair determination.  The failure to document individual contributions would not, itself, generate institutional ownership but in this instance documenting the contributions might have made recovery of forgotten facts easier. [2.2.2.c]

 

Case 9: Faculty researcher J is Principal Investigator on an institutional contract with a private company.  The contract is for the creation of software to manage power plants.  The terms of the contract provide that the corporate sponsor will have an option to license the software created under the contract.  While J may be the owner of the copyright in the software under copyright law, J has the obligation to assign this ownership to the institution so that the University may meet the contractual requirement to offer the corporate sponsor an option to the work.  [2.2.2.d]

 

Case 10: Faculty researcher K is Principal Investigator on a federal grant that provides significant funding to meet the proposed objective:  development of a particular piece of medical imaging software.  The terms of the federal award neither compel nor empower the University to take ownership of the copyright in the resultant software.  Even so, the University has a policy-based opportunity to require K to assign copyright ownership in the software to the institution since use of the grant funds constitutes “significant use of University resources.” In assessing its rights to request assignment of a copyright because of the use of grant funds, the University will consider requesting assignment only of copyrights to works specified as objectives of the grant-funded work.  In this example, the University would not seek ownership of the copyright in other related works such as journal articles, monographs, or textbooks that may arise from the grant funding since these works are not commonly construed as identified objectives of the grant. To avoid any dispute, Faculty member G should work with the Vice President for Research prior to distribution of any grant funds to lay the groundwork for the future resolution of any potential conflicting copyright claims. 

 

Case 11: Faculty member L is Principal Investigator of a grant that provides Faculty member F with travel funds to visit a library in a foreign country so that F can do research.  Later F produces an article based upon this research. Even though Faculty member F’s efforts were supported by a grant, the copyright belongs to  F.  Even if preparation of a publication is a specified objective of a grant, the University will not seek assignment of the copyright in that work

 

Case 12: Faculty member M begins to create a copyrightable web-based work that will help high school students select a college.  After three months,  M realizes that the work cannot be completed without substantial use of University staff computer experts.  M requests and receives permission to have access to this expertise. Faculty member M would have been entitled to the copyright in work under this policy if there had been no infusion of substantial resources; however, because of the infusion of University resources, the University may have a claim.  Faculty member M should consult with the Vice President for Research at the time assistance is requested to lay the groundwork for the future resolution of any potential conflicting copyright claims.  [2.2.2.e]

 

Case 13: N, a professional staff writer at the University, prepares original text for a brochure describing research in a college.  Even though L prepared original text, the University owns the copyright in the brochure material since it is a reasonably expected product of N’s employment.  [2.2.2.f]

 

Case 14: Undergraduate student O is an hourly-wage, graphics designer in a University unit.  In the course of this work O prepares a poster for an institutional lecture series.  Even though O is a student, the University owns the copyright in the poster design since it was prepared as a consequence of O’s employment by the institution and not as part of O’s educational pursuits.  [2.2.2.f]