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Section C
College-Supported Inventions and Materials

C-17: College-Supported Inventions and Materials

Adoption Date: 09/17/90  |  Revision Date: 05/19/98

  1. Definitions: As used in this policy, the following terms have the meaning indicated:
    1. Inventions. All devices, discoveries, processes, methods, uses, products, or combinations, whether or not patented, or patentable at any time under the Federal Patent Act as now existing or hereafter amended or supplemented.
    2. Written Materials. All instructional, literary, dramatic, and musical materials or works, and all other materials or works, published in either written or digital form or unpublished, copyrighted or copyrightable at any time under the Federal Copyright Act as now existing or hereafter amended or supplemented.
    3. Recorded Materials. All sound, visual, audio-visual, and television films or tapes, videotapes, kinescopes, or other recordings or transcriptions, published or unpublished, whether or not copyrightable at any time under the Federal Copyright Act as now existing or hereafter amended or supplemented.
    4. Materials. Written materials and recorded materials.
    5. College Personnel. Part-time and full-time members of the faculty, staff, all other agents and employees.
  2. Professional Rights of Faculty: Except as otherwise provided herein, faculty members shall retain all rights relating to classroom use and to publication or distribution of materials which they have prepared. In those cases where the College acquired a proprietary interest in any such materials, the professional interest of the faculty member and the reputation of the College require that there be adequate mutual control over the use of such materials. The extent of such control and the mutual rights with respect to the revision and withdrawal of such materials, the limitations of their use, and provisions with respect to the termination of use, shall be set forth in a separate contract between the College and the faculty member.
  3. Principle of College Ownership
    1. General. Except as otherwise provided by separate written agreement or waiver heretofore or hereafter executed by duly authorized officers of the College, the College shall own all domestic and foreign rights in and to any and all inventions and materials made or developed by College personnel either:
      1. In the course of employment by the College; or,
      2. Substantially through the use of facilities or funds provided by or through the College. The rights owned by the College include all economic and property rights as well as the right to patent inventions and to copyright materials.
    2. Course of Employment
      1. Written Materials and Recorded Materials - Materials shall be considered as having been made in the course of employment in those cases where (1) the individual was employed by the College for the specific purpose of preparing or producing the materials or (2) where materials were prepared or produced as part of the individual’s general employment duties.
      2. Consulting Work - College personnel desiring to perform consulting work for outside organizations are required to obtain the prior approval of the President of the College. Inventions and materials made or developed solely in the course of consulting work performed for outside organizations for which the approval of the President of the College has been obtained shall not be considered as having been made or developed in the course of College employment unless otherwise provided in the President's approval. Accordingly, all rights to such inventions and materials, other than those involving the substantial use of College funds or facilities, shall remain with the individual, provided, however, that College personnel engaged in consulting work shall not execute any agreement with any organization covering rights in inventions and materials unless such agreement has been approved by the President of the College.
      3. Upon Termination of Employment - Upon termination of employment with Prairie State College, the College may make an offer to the employee to purchase that employee’s interest in the materials or rights. If that employee does not accept such offer, the employee may make a counter-offer to such offer or may make an offer to purchase the College’s interests or rights to such materials.
    3. Substantial Use of College Facilities or Funds. Funds and facilities provided by governmental, commercial, industrial or the public or private organizations which are administered and controlled by the College shall be considered to be funds and facilities provided by or through the College for the purpose of this policy. All rights in and to inventions and materials made or developed through the substantial use of such funds and facilities shall belong to the College as between the College and College personnel. College personnel will be required to execute such assignments, waivers or other agreements as the College may require, but no such agreements shall be made by college personnel directly with a sponsoring organization without the approval of the President of the College. If there is no contractual agreement the College, after obtaining a release from the author, reserves the sole right to make agreements with sponsoring organizations and to include therein such provisions regarding the ownership as it deems to be in the interest of the College and the public.
  4. Equities of Participating Parties
    1. General Policy. It is the policy of Prairie State College to encourage and recognize the creative efforts of College personnel and, insofar as the Board of Trustees of the College deem it consistent with the public interest, to share the financial awards of such efforts on an equitable basis. This general policy may be rescinded or amended at any time by the College, and it is not intended to and does not create any legally enforceable rights whatsoever in any College personnel in respect to any present or future invention, written material or recorded material.

      The rights of College personnel in and to any inventions and materials belonging to the College will be created and exist only by virtue of written agreements between the College and the individuals concerned, as provided below.
    2. Determination of Equities
      1. Determination by the Committee on Patents and Copyrights - The Committee on Patents and Copyrights (the committee) shall determine:
        1. When the rights in and to inventions and materials belong to the College under the provisions of this policy, whether College personnel shall be entitled to share in the net proceeds of such inventions and materials; and if so,
        2. What the respective equities of the College and of the College personnel shall be
      2. General Principle of Division - The committee shall, as a general principle, but subject to all relevant provisions of this policy (including, but not limited to, those relating to sponsored programs), award a one-half (1/2) interest to the College and a one-half (1/2) interest to College personnel in the net proceeds derived from inventions and materials belonging to the College. The committee may make a different determination of the equities of the respective parties depending upon the circumstances of each individual case, and may waive or release any or all of the rights of the College in appropriate cases. The committee shall consider in each case the extent, if any, to which the invention or material was made or developed partially outside the course of employment by the College; the extent, if any, to which the College's funds or facilities contributed to the discovery or development; and such other factors as the committee considers relevant and material.
      3. Division of Equities Among College Personnel - If the committee determines that more than one individual is entitled to an equity in any invention or any materials, the committee shall determine the manner in which the equity award to College personnel as a group shall be divided among the individuals constituting the group, provided, however, that if such individuals shall have agreed among themselves, such agreement shall be conclusive.
      4. Agreement Concerning Equities - Not any determination by the committee, or any other provision of this policy, neither the College nor College personnel shall have equities or rights whatsoever in inventions and materials belonging to the College unless and until a written agreement has been executed by the College and the College personnel consistent with the determination of the committee.
      5. Net Proceeds - The net proceeds derived from inventions and materials shall mean the gross receipts therefrom (including, but not limited to, rents, royalties, dividends, earnings, gains and sales proceeds), less all costs, expenses and losses paid or incurred by the College in connection with (including, but not limited to, all direct costs and expenses, indirect costs and expenses as allocated and determined by the College, costs and expenses of obtaining and securing patents or copyrights and all attorney's fees).
      6. Sponsored Research - In cases of inventions and materials made or developed in the course of sponsored research, the determinations of the committee shall necessarily be subject to and limited by the provisions of any contracts to which the College or College personnel are parties, provided any such contracts of College personnel are authorized as provided elsewhere in this policy.
      7. College's Right to Dispose of Inventions and Materials - Notwithstanding any determination made by the committee, or any other provision of this policy, the College reserves the sole right to negotiate and enter into contracts for the excise, sale, or other disposition of any and all rights in inventions and materials belonging to the College on such terms and conditions and for such consideration, if any, as the College shall determine, and College personnel shall have no right with respect thereto except the right to receive such shared of the net proceeds, if any, as the committee determines, provided, however, that in the case of materials, all such agreements by the College shall contain appropriate provisions agreeable to the College and College personnel involved pertaining to the use and re-use of the materials within and without the College, the length of time in which the materials may be used or re-used and the revision or withdrawal of the materials.