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Intellectual Property Produced by Howard Community College Students Procedure - 40.02.05

College Policy Number/Title:

Howard Community College (HCC) encourages the creation of new knowledge by students and encourages the development and dissemination of intellectual property created by students through the use of Creative Commons licenses where appropriate.

Student Ownership of Student Intellectual Property

All intellectual property created by a student as part of a credit or noncredit class, or in any other HCC-related capacity, remains the property of the student, if the following conditions are met:

  • College resources used in the creation of the property are provided to all students registered in the course, or involved in the HCC-related club or activity, or are not substantial.
  • The student is not being paid by the college through internal funds, grant funds, or college contract with a third party sponsor.

College resources include: personnel, physical property and equipment, facilities, time, compensation, funding, and other forms of support. Substantial use of college resources means that the college has provided support with resources of a degree or nature not routinely made available to all students, either in the form of funding, the use of facilities, or the involvement of staff.

Students will not be required to participate in assignments or activities that require them to assign the ownership of their intellectual property to the college. The student’s decision to participate, or not to participate, will not affect their assessment or grade.

The college owns and is entitled to any financial rewards from any intellectual property created by students with the use of substantial 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 or 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.

The use of the college name within intellectual property materials that are produced for publication is subject to prior approval by the college president, the appropriate vice president, or designee. Only the approved college logo will be used within intellectual property materials.

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 Student Intellectual Property

If a creator anticipates or determines that intellectual property created with substantial college resources is of marketable financial value, the creator is required to notify the instructor of record for the class or activity, or 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 or 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 instructor of record for the class or activity, or 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:

  • Describe the project;
  • Define the share of revenue allocated to the student or the rights to be assigned to the student; and
  • Protect the academic freedom of the student.

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

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

Procedures:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:  VPAA/VPAF

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