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Intellectual Property Produced By Howard Community College Faculty and Staff with College Resources Procedure - 40.02.01

College Policy Number/Title:

Howard Community College encourages the creation of new knowledge by faculty and staff and encourages the development and dissemination of intellectual property through the use of Creative Commons licenses where appropriate and, in certain cases, providing financial awards to creators or assigning some rights to the creators.

Intellectual Property Ownership

The college owns the rights to intellectual property created by the faculty or staff member if college resources are used.

College resources include: personnel, physical property and equipment, facilities, time, compensation, funding, and other forms of support.

The college owns and is entitled to any financial rewards from any intellectual property created with the use of college resources. However, the college may share these financial rewards with the creator through an agreement of joint intellectual property ownership.

An agreement for the distribution of financial rewards should reflect, as closely as possible, the proportionate creative contributions of the creator in developing the intellectual property, the amount of the use of resources/facilities provided by the college, and the financial risks assumed by both the creator of the intellectual property and the college in the development of the intellectual property. Within intellectual property materials, the approved college logo must be used.

The use of the college name within intellectual property materials that are produced for publication is subject to prior approval by the college president or the appropriate vice president.

Before the creator enters into an agreement for intellectual property, the creator must obtain the appropriate releases or permissions for the use of any materials from other contributors (i.e., third parties) and provide the documentation to the president or appropriate vice president.

Joint Ownership of Intellectual Property

If a creator anticipates or determines that intellectual property is of marketable financial value, the creator is required to notify the supervisor who will forward the information to the appropriate vice president for the purpose of establishing an agreement for joint ownership.

The college recognizes that the creator may have vested interests in property that does not have marketable financial value, so the College may grant certain rights/uses to the creator on a case-by-case basis. If the creator is interested in having specific rights granted to them, the creator must notify the supervisor who will forward the request to the appropriate vice president.

In either instance, an agreement will be formed between the College and the creator, with the vice president negotiating on behalf of the College.

The agreement should at a minimum:

  1. Describe the project;
  2. Define the share of revenue allocated to the creator or the rights to be assigned to the creator; and
  3. Protect the academic freedom of the creator.

If the vice president and creator cannot mutually agree to terms, the creator may appeal to the president of the college.

In the case of a collaborative creation, the creators must establish and document their applicable share of rights and revenue at the outset of the project. Any documentation regarding the collaboration must be filed with the written agreement between the creators and the college concerning the main allocation of rights and revenue.

Agreements may be changed and amended, if required, upon the mutual approval of the creator and the vice president, or president, as appropriate.


  1. All agreements must be fully executed to be binding on the parties. Agreements will be disclosed by the vice president to the president and by the president to the board of trustees.
  2. In the event the president does not approve a proposed agreement, the proposed agreement, although signed by the creator and the vice president, will have no legal force or effect and will not be used or considered by any party as proof of ownership or for any other purposes beyond the purpose of facilitating timely negotiations between the creator and the college.
  3. The vice president of the creator’s area will keep a copy of the agreement and a copy will also be provided, if appropriate, to the director of procurement for the contract file.
Effective Date: 12/14/18

President's Office Use:  VPTL/VPAF

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