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Intellectual Property

Coastal Carolina University is committed to the creation and dissemination of knowledge for the public good. Many times this knowledge, sometimes referred to as intellectual property, needs to be protected. The university's Intellectual Property Policy, below, defines and addresses the rights to intellectual property and the intended or unintended access to such property, as well as ownership, compensation, copyrights, and use of revenue derived from such property.  All faculty, employees, students, and visitors at the university who participate, as inventors or creators, in the development of intellectual property in which the university may have an interest should review the Intellectual Properties Policy and promptly notify the Executive Vice President of such participation and development.

Intellectual Property Policy

Patents

A patent is an exclusive  right granted by a government to an inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an  invention for a certain number of years (typically 20 years).  To be  patentable, the invention or discovery must have utility, novelty, and be  non-obvious.  The US Patent & Trademark Office has determined that  software which meets certain technical and legal criteria may be  patentable.  In the event that software originally disclosed as a  copyrightable work is subsequently determined to be patentable subject matter,  and CCU chooses to seek patent protection for the software, such software shall  be managed as patentable intellectual property.

There are three different  types of patents:

Utility patents are granted to those who discover  any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or  any new and useful improvement thereof.

Design patents are granted to those who invent any  new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.

Plant patents are granted to those who invent or  discover and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant,  including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other  than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state.

As provided by university policy,  to which these policies and procedures are expressly subject, the University  has an ownership interest in all inventions of University personnel that are  conceived or first actually reduced to practice as a part of or as a result of  University research or other activities involving the use of University  facilities, staff, or funds administered by the University. The University also may  have an interest in inventions under the terms of contracts, grants or other  agreements. Faculty, staff, and  students whose inventions are made on their own time and without University  facilities, staff, or other resources and which inventions are, therefore,  their exclusive property as specified by CCU policies, may avail themselves of  the opportunity to submit the invention to the University for possible  patenting and/or commercial exploitation and management under terms to be  agreed between the inventor and the University. Patent infringement may  result in civil charges leading to the payment of royalties, injunctions, and  attorney fees.  More...

Copyrights

Copyright is the ownership  and control of the intellectual property in original works of authorship.  Copyright ownership and the rights thereof are defined by federal law; however,  CCU Policies effectively grant ownership to certain copyrightable works to  individual authors even though federal law would vest ownership in the  University.  Those determinations have been made by category of  copyrightable work and category of author.

In general, all material  owned by the University shall be protected by notice of copyright in the name  of the University. The proper form of such notice is as follows: © 20--, Coastal Carolina University.  All rights reserved.

The date should be the year  in which the work was completed or in which it was published, whichever is  earlier. The name of the University must be spelled out in its entirety. The  word "copyright" may be substituted for the copyright symbol shown  above.
Copyright violations may  result in injunctions, impounding, damages, attorney's fees, and criminal  offenses (17  USC 501-513).

Ownership of Traditional Works

Ownership belongs to the  creator of the work, unless it is a directed work, sponsored work  requiring University ownership, or a work made for hire described in a  written agreement between the work's creator and the University. If the University is to be  involved in commercializing a traditional work or non-directed work, the work's  creator shall assign the work to the University under an Assignment Agreement.  The Assignment Agreement shall contain provisions outlining the  commercialization responsibilities of the University and a mechanism for the  sharing of commercial proceeds with the Author. In cases of ownership by the  creator of a traditional work or non-directed work, the University, shall have  a Shop Right in the work.  Examples of Traditional or Non-Directed Works  include literary works, musical compositions, journal articles and other  scholarly works, and instructional materials, unless any such work is specially  ordered or commissioned by the University. 

If the work involves "exceptional use of institutional resources," ownership belongs to the University.  However, upon agreement by the appropriate institutional official or body, the  University may release or transfer its rights to the work's creator, with the  University retaining: (a) a Shop Right; (b) the right to require reimbursement  from the creator equal to the value of institutional resources used if the work  produces income for the creator; and/or (c) the right to receive royalties in  the same proportions as are provided for patent income (see Income from Copyright  section) under these policies if the work produces income for the creator. The  parties may also negotiate for joint ownership of such works, with the approval  of the appropriate institutional official.

Ownership of Directed Works

Ownership belongs to the  University. The work's creator, where practical, shall be granted a Shop Right. The University may release or transfer its authorship rights to the work's creator under a written  agreement negotiated between the creator and the University, usually with the University retaining (a) a Shop Right, and/or (b) the right to require reimbursement and/or income sharing from the work's creator to the University if the work produces income for the creator. The parties may also negotiate for joint ownership of such works, with the approval of the appropriate  institutional official or body.

Ownership of Sponsored Works

For a sponsored or externally contracted work created under an agreement that expressly requires  copyright ownership by the University, the creator of the work must disclose  the work to the University.  Provided there is no conflict with a sponsored agreement, the University may release or transfer its rights to the work's  creator under an agreement negotiated between the creator and the University, usually with the University retaining (a) a Shop Right, and/or (b) the right to require reimbursement and/or income sharing from the work's creator to the University if the work produces income for the creator;  or the parties may also negotiate for joint ownership of such works, with the  approval of the appropriate institutional official. For a sponsored or  externally contracted work created under an agreement that does not expressly  require copyright ownership by the University or a third party, the creator of  the work shall own the work, subject to disclosure to the University where  required under institutional policy.In case of ownership by the  work's creator, the University, if practical, shall be assigned a Shop Right.

Income from Copyright Works not Owned by Coastal Carolina University

Authors and creators of original works in which the University claims no interest may exercise  exclusive rights protected by copyright law, register the copyright and receive  any revenues which may result there from.

Works in which Coastal Carolina University  has an Ownership or Income Interest

Income received by the  University through the sale, licensing, leasing or other use of copyrightable  material in which the University has an ownership interest will normally  be shared with the author. Authorship for this purpose shall be determined by  the Provost or such officer's designee. Compensation and division of royalties,  if any, will be the same as that provided for patent income under these  policies and procedures unless other terms are negotiated by written agreement  prior to commencement of work on the project.

In the event that an author  contributes a copyrighted work to the University, a written agreement accepting  such contribution shall be executed by the President or that officer's  designee, subject to approval and acceptance of The Board of Trustees.  In  the event that a person otherwise assigns a copyrighted work to the University  for value, the terms of the agreement shall include a statement governing the  division of royalties or other income between the University and the assignor.

Trademarks

The term  "trademark" includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any  combination thereof used by a person to distinguish his or her goods (15  USC 1127). Trademarks may not be registered if they possess any of the  design characteristics described in 15  USC 1052, such as marks that include scandalous or immoral matter and those  that contain the insignia of any state, country, or municipality.

Reproduction, counterfeiting, and imitation of a registered trademark in connection with the sale or advertisement of any goods or services is forbidden and may lead to civil action (15  USC 1114).

Registered trademarks must display an indication of registration, such as the ® symbol, or no damages or  profits may be recovered (15  USC 1111). In some cases, however, a non-registered trademark, referred to  as a "famous mark," may have some protections. Refer to 15  USC 1125 for more information.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office accepts applications through its Trademark Electonic Application System (TEAS).  Applicants must submit personal information, specifics of the trademark, and a fee.

Use of a registered trademark may result in the payment of damages, fees, and profits to the owner  (15  USC 1117).

Technology Transfer

Coastal Carolina University encourages participation by  faculty, staff and students in scholarly research and creative activities that create knowledge, support and enhance teaching, and is consistent with its public service mission to contribute to the economic development of South Carolina. While research conducted by the University is aimed first at creation, discovery and dissemination of knowledge, rather than profit from commercial application, the University recognizes that public benefit may result from commercial applications of technology developed with University resources. The University seeks through adoption of these policies and procedures to balance the interests of the  public, the University and respective inventor(s), author(s), or artist(s) in  intellectual property arising from research and creative activities conducted  by employees and students.

Contact Bruxanne Hein at ext. 2918 to learn more about the process of transferring technology and innovation from CCU's campus to the general public.

Revenue Sharing

The University shall share technology transfer revenue that it receives from patents or inventions with the inventors. Specific provisions of grants or contracts may govern rights and  revenue distribution regarding inventions made in connection with sponsored  research; consequently, revenues the University receives from such inventions may be exclusive of payments of royalty shares to sponsors or contractors. Moreover, the University may contract with outside persons or organizations for  the obtaining, managing and defending of patents. Any expenses incurred for  the services of such persons or organizations, as well as any and all incremental expenses incurred by the University in obtaining and maintaining  patents and/or in marketing, licensing and defending patents or licensable inventions, shall be deducted before the University distributes revenues.

Applicable laws, regulations or provision of grants or contracts may, however, require that a lesser share be paid to the inventor. In the case of co-inventors, each percentage share described in this paragraph as due a sole inventor shall be subdivided equally among the co-inventors unless all the co-inventors provide the University a written instrument signed by each of them allocating ownership among them other than in equal shares.  In no event shall the share payable to the inventor or inventors in the aggregate by the University be less than 15% of the gross royalties received by the University.

Glossary

Copyright - The exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work,  whether printed, audio, video, etc. Such rights in a work created on or  after January 1, 1978, generally endure for a term consisting of the life of  the author and 70 years after the author's death.
Design Patent - granted to those who invent any new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
Directed  Works - works  that are specifically funded by, or created at the direction of, or created  pursuant to contract with, the University (including, but not limited to, works for hire by faculty or other EPA employees).
Disclosure - a complete written description of an invention that is detailed enough to allow an inexperienced reader to  replicate the creation of the invention and describe its function to others.
Exceptional  Use of Institutional Resources - Institutional support of works utilizing resources of a degree or nature not routinely made available to faculty or other EPA employees in a given area.  The following are some examples of situations that are presumed to be exceptional use:  I. waiver of fees normally required to use specialized University facilities (e.g., equipment, production facilities, service laboratories, special computing resources, studios) where those facilities are used in creation of the work;  II. University grants or gifts in support of the work's creation;  III. reduction in levels of teaching, service or other University employment responsibilities (e.g., course load, student advising, division/department meetings, office hours, administrative tasks) granted solely for the purpose of facilitating creation of a specified work or works;  IV. use of University personnel, laboratory space, equipment, or supplies not routinely made available to faculty or other EPA non-faculty employees.  V. Exceptional use does not normally include routine use of University personnel, office space, laboratories, desktop computers, libraries, telephones, and information resources in a manner that (a) does not interfere with or delay use for University business purposes, and (b) does not result in substantial direct costs to the University..
Intellectual  Property -  generally relates to four distinct kinds of legal protection: patents,  trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. The kinds of things that are  protected by intellectual property law include scientific and engineering  inventions (including new methods and apparatus), distinctive marks for  identifying products or institutions, computer software, "know-how,"  and forms of expression that are affixed in tangible form (i.e., books, movies,  artistic works of art).
Inventor - a person who makes an original,  significant intellectual contribution leading to the conception of the  invention.
License - a license is  a legally binding written document in which one party, having definable rights  in a property, transfers or grants all or some part of those rights to another  entity for some type of consideration.
Material Transfer  Agreement - an  agreement where one party agrees to provide another party with their materials.  MTAs should always be considered when conducting any outside collaborations  with industry or other academic institutions. MTAs are typically used to  protect materials that may be proprietary and/or embody a trade secret.
Patent - The  exclusive right granted by a government to an inventor to manufacture, use, or  sell an invention for a certain number of years.  To be patentable, the  invention or discovery must have utility, novelty, and be non-obvious.   The US Patent & Trademark Office has determined that software which meets  certain technical and legal criteria may be patentable.  In the event that  software originally disclosed as a Copyrightable Work is subsequently  determined to be patentable subject matter, and CCU chooses to seek patent  protection for the software, such software shall be managed under this policy  as patentable Intellectual Property.
Patentable - In general, an invention is  patentable if it is new, useful, and of a non-obvious subject matter.
Plant Patent -granted to those who invent or  discover and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant,  including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other  than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state.
Prior  Art - any relevant publication, patent, or event prior to invention that may be  considered by the patent office in evaluating patentability of the invention.  If a patent application is filed in the US, anything that has been published, used in public, offered for sale or sold by anyone before the inventor(s) made  the invention, or more than one year before the application is filed, becomes a  part of the prior art for that application.
Provisional Patent  Application -  an application that can be filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office  (USPTO) that establishes the effective filing date of a patent application.
Shop  Right - A non-exclusive, nontransferable, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, or make derivative works of the copyrighted work, for educational or research purposes only.
Sponsored Works - any type of copyrighted work developed with funds supplied under a  contract, grant, or other arrangement between the University and third parties,  including sponsored research agreements.
Technology Transfer - a term used  to describe a formal transferring of new discoveries and innovations resulting  from scientific research conducted at universities to the commercial sector.
Trademark - any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof used by  a person to distinguish his or her goods (15  USC 1127).
Trade  Secret - Trade  secrets may be comprised, generally, of any formula, pattern, device or  compilation of information which gives one an opportunity to obtain an  advantage over competitors who do not know or use it in commercial  applications. To the extent permitted by UNC Policies, trade secrets in which Coastal Carolina University  maintains an interest shall be protected in accordance with the terms of  sponsored research agreements or, if none exist, by any lawful means available  to the University as determined by the President or such officer's designee.
Traditional  Work - a pedagogical, scholarly, literary, or aesthetic (artistic) work originated by a  faculty or other employee resulting from non-directed effort. (Such works may  include textbooks, manuscripts, scholarly works, fixed lecture notes, distance  learning materials not falling into one of the other categories of this policy,  works of art or design, musical scores, poems, films, videos, audio recordings,  or other works of the kind that have historically been deemed in academic  communities to be the property of their creator.)
Utility Patent - granted to those who discover any  new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any  new and useful improvement thereof.
Work  Made for Hire - a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or  a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a  collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a  translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional  text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties  expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be  considered a work made for hire (15 USC 101).