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Intellectual Property Policy

(Approved by the Executive Committee of the Bridgewater College Board of Trustees on August 11, 2010)

1.  Policy Statement

The mission of Bridgewater College is to educate and develop the whole person. This mission is carried out in a learning community which encourages a spirit of intellectual inquiry among faculty, students and staff.  The development of creative and scholarly research, works and inventions, known broadly as intellectual property, will be a natural outgrowth of such activities.  The products of this scholarship may create rights and interests on behalf of the creator, author, inventor, sponsor and the College. The purpose of this policy is to support and reward scientific research and scholarship, and help faculty, students and staff identify, protect, and administer intellectual property matters and define the rights and responsibilities of all involved.

2.  Applicability

The policy applies to works created by all classifications of faculty, staff and students of the College, and to non-employees such as consultants and independent contractors who create works on behalf of the College, unless a written agreement exists to the contrary.

3.  Identification of Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property shall consist of the following:

(a)  Copyrightable material produced from creative and scholarly activity, such as text (manuscripts, manuals, books, and articles); videos and motion pictures; music (sound recordings, lyrics, and scores); images (print, photographs, electronic, and art); and computer software (programs, databases, web pages, and courseware);

(b)  Patentable works such as patents (processes, machines, manufactures, or compositions of matter); devices; and software excluded from copyrighted materials;

(c)  Trademarked materials, such as words, names, symbols or logos, domain names, trade dress, and slogans or any combination of words which has been adopted by the College to identify itself and to distinguish itself and its sponsorship from others; and

(d)  Trade Secrets.

4.  Ownership and Use

4.1  Patentable Intellectual Property

4.1.1  Responsibility for Disclosure of Patentable Intellectual Property.  College personnel who alone or in association with other individuals or entities create or intend to create patentable subject matter with any use of College resources must disclose the matter and obtain prior authorization from the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs (or designee). Such disclosure shall be made when it can be reasonably concluded that a patentable subject matter has or will be created, and sufficiently in advance of any publications, presentation, or other public disclosure to allow time for possible action that protects rights to the intellectual property for the creator and the College. Creators are encouraged to seek the advice of the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs (or designee) in determining whether the subject matter is patentable or whether the College desires to pursue patenting the matter.

4.1.2  Determination of Rights to Patentable Subject Matter.  Except as set forth below, the creator of patentable intellectual property shall retain his/her rights, and the College shall not assert ownership rights. The College will assert ownership rights to patentable intellectual property developed under any of the following circumstances:

(a)  Development was funded as part of an externally sponsored research program or pursuant to an agreement which allocates rights to the College.

(b)  Development required significant use1 of College resources or more than minimal use of College personnel. Participation of students that influences development of the patentable subject matter constitutes significant use of College resources.

(c)  The creator was assigned, directed, or specifically funded by the College to develop the material.

(d)  Material was developed by administrators or other non-faculty employees in the course of employment duties and constitutes “work for hire” under U.S. law (e.g., the College’s website, alumni bulletins, admission materials, fundraising materials, catalogs and magazines).

4.2  Other Intellectual Property

4.2.1  Responsibility for Disclosure of Intellectual Property.  Faculty are not obligated to disclose the creation of original works (other than patentable intellectual property), even when the work might have commercial value, unless it is created under conditions by which the College may assert ownership rights to Intellectual Property as described below, in which case the creator is responsible for timely disclosure. Faculty are encouraged to disclose any protectable material that has commercial value to the extent that they may wish assistance in copyright protection and marketing in exchange for profit sharing with the College. All disclosures should be made to the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs.

4.2.2  Determination of Rights to Intellectual Property.  Except as set forth below, the creator of Intellectual Property (other than patentable intellectual property) shall retain his/her rights, and the College shall not assert ownership rights. However, creators will grant the College a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual license to use the Intellectual Property for internal instructional, educational and administrative purposes, including, without limitation, for satisfying requests of accreditation agencies for faculty-authorized syllabi and course descriptions and materials. The College may assert ownership rights to Intellectual Property developed under the following circumstances:

(a)  Development was funded as part of an externally sponsored research program or pursuant to an agreement which allocates rights to the College.

(b)  Development required significant use1 of College resources or more than minimal use of College personnel. Participation of students that influences development of the work constitutes significant use of College resources.  Prominent use of the Bridgewater College name or any image, trademark or logo of Bridgewater College also constitutes significant use of College resources.

(c)  A faculty member was assigned, directed, or specifically funded by the College to develop the material.

(d)  Material was developed by administrators or other non-faculty employees in the course of employment duties and constitutes “work for hire” under U.S. law (e.g., the College’s website, alumni bulletins, admission materials, fundraising materials, catalogs and magazines).

4.3  Intellectual Property Developed Under Sponsored Research Agreements

Ownership of Intellectual Property developed pursuant to an agreement with any sponsor will be governed by the provisions of that agreement. Sponsored research programs funded by private sponsors will generally provide for the College to retain title to all intellectual property that arises in the course of the research program with the sponsor retaining an option to acquire commercialization rights through a separate license agreement. Government and nonprofit sponsors generally allow rights to intellectual property that arises from the research program to vest with the College, subject to certain retained rights held by the federal government.

5.  Administration

5.1  General.  This policy shall be administered by the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, who shall determine and interpret its terms and provisions.

5.2  Intellectual Property Review Committee.  In implementing this policy, there shall be a standing Intellectual Property Review Committee whose functions shall include:  (1) reviewing policy provisions from time to time, as needed, with recommendations for change or amendments to the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs; (2) serving as a non-binding advisory body in the case of any dispute relating to this policy; and (3) reviewing other issues as requested by the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs.  The Committee shall consist of two (2) faculty members appointed by the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, the Director of Library Services, the Chief Information Officer, and the Director of Budget and Analysis.

5.3  Dispute Resolution.  In the event the creator of Intellectual Property objects in writing to a determination of the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, the creator and the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs will provide all relevant information to the President.  The President, or the President’s designee, is hereby empowered and authorized, after reviewing the circumstances of the case and considering the desirability of asserting the College's interests, to accept or reject the determination of the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs.  The President shall then provide the creator and the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs with the President's final and binding written determination.

5.4  Changes to Policy.  The College reserves the right to change this policy from time to time. In addition to the Board of Trustees, the President has the authority to change this policy.

6.  Use of Bridgewater Names/Logos

Faculty, staff, and students may, consistent with the College’s Graphics Standard Manual, use the College's names, logos, and/or other marks where necessary to identify themselves on matters of official College business. Bridgewater names, logos, and other marks shall not be used for commercial purposes or by individuals or entities in a manner that implies College endorsement or responsibility for particular activities, products, or publications, or by any individual or group promoting itself, without the express written permission of the Director for Marketing & Communications or designee.

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1  “Significant use” of College resources requires resources of a degree or nature not routinely made available to all faculty.  For example, providing a faculty member with his or her own dedicated lab space or significant materials specific to his or her research or extended IT support from a staff member would be considered significant use of College resources.  However, ordinary use of computers or library resources or use of a departmental lab space that is available to all department members would not be considered significant use of College resources.

[Many portions of this policy are taken (with permission) from the same or similar provisions in the policies of Washington and Lee University.]