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.
To be patentable, the invention or discovery must have utility, novelty and be non-obvious.
The United States Patent and 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 Coastal Carolina University 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/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 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.
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