Patent and Copyright Procedures

If you have not already done so, you may need to download the Invention Disclosure form, which can also be found under Forms.

The purpose of this policy is to establish general guidelines for the determination of ownership of patents and copyrights created or developed by employees of Bradley University within the scope of their employment. This policy has as its primary purpose the protection of employees’ rights in their creative efforts and the recognition of their ownership interests except when the University has established its superior interest in ownership according to the following guidelines.

Guidelines for Intellectual Property Ownership

The University recognizes that patented items as well as copyrighted works may result from the activities of University employees in the course of their normal teaching, research, and service duties through use of normally available University facilities, funds, and resources (hereinafter “scope of employment”). Ownership of patents and copyrights created within the scope of the employee’s employment shall remain with the employee unless:

  • The patent is conceived or reduced to practice as a result of a duty which is specifically assigned to and agreed to in writing. Specifically excluded as “assigned and agreed to in writing” are normal planning documents created by faculty as part of a management by-objective system.
  • In regard to copyrights, the University will be the owner of works created pursuant to a written agreement signed by the University and the employee which states that the work will be considered to be “work made for hire.”
  • The patent is conceived or reduced to practice, or the copyright is created as a result of a contractual duty with an external agency and the contract with that agency assigns responsibility for ultimate disposition of the patent or copyright to the University.
  • The University retains ownership of any inventions and/or works created through the use of University facilities and equipment which are not available to employees in the course of their normal duties.

NOTE: A special exception to the above guidelines exists when computer software is created as an integral part of course offerings at the University. In such instances, the faculty member(s) will retain ownership of the copyright; but the University shall have the right to royalty-free use of the software. If the software is sold directly to the students as part of a textbook package, then the University shall have no rights to royalty-free use of the software.

In the event of the creation or invention of works to which the exceptions concerning University ownership apply, employees involved will promptly disclose the invention or work to the University and will not publish or otherwise disclose the invention or work to others.

Revenues from University-owned Patents and Copyrights

Unless otherwise agreed between the employee and the University, or unless otherwise specified in a contract with an external agency relative to the patent or copyright, revenues shall be divided one-half between the employee(s) and the University after direct costs (e.g., cash expenditures) have been deducted. No overhead may be deducted.

Employee and University Responsibilities

If the University is entitled to ownership of a patent or copyright according to the guidelines above, the employee involved will promptly disclose the invention or work to the University and will not publish or otherwise disclose the invention or work to others. Also, the employee shall assist the University in the development and acquisition of the copyright. If the University has no ownership rights to a patent or copyright according to the guidelines above, the University shall have no obligation to assist the employee in the development or acquisition of the patent or copyright.

Separately Negotiated Agreement

In cases where the University would have an interest or ownership right in a patent or copyright, then these guidelines do not preclude a separately negotiated agreement among all interested parties.

OSP maintains a file of documents on applying for a patent and trademark, including information on the “Disclosure Document Program,” basic facts about patents, the declaration for patent application, and basic facts about trademarks. One may review these documents in the Office.

Information on Patents and Trademarks also may be obtained from U.S. Dept. of Commerce and Community Affairs, Public Services Center, (202)557-4357. For more information on Copyrights, the number is (202)479-0700.