Intellectual Property

To state the College’s intellectual property policy and procedures

  1. Introduction
    1. Randolph Community College encourages the development, writing, invention, and production of intellectual property designed to improve the productivity of the College and/or to enhance the teaching/learning environment.
    2. Intellectual property is defined as intellectual and creative works that can be copyrighted or patented, such as literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, computer software, multimedia presentations, inventions, etc.
    3. Please note that notwithstanding the following information and conditions, a student retains portfolio rights to works created by the student as a class assignment or as part of a pro-bono commission approved as a student project by an instructor. A pro-bono commission is work that an instructor may approve for students to undertake as a skill-building opportunity. Students may receive token payments provided by the person or group that commissions such a work.
    4. The ownership of a copyright or patent resulting from the development of intellectual property and any rewards or recognition attributed to the copyright or patent will be determined according to the following conditions.
  2. Ownership resides with the employee or student
    1. Ownership resides with the employee or student if the following criteria are met:  
      1. The work is the result of individual initiative, not requested by the college.
      2. The work is not the product of a specific contract or assignment made as a result of employment with the college.
      3. The work is not prepared within the scope of the individual’s college job duties.
      4. The work does not involve use of college facilities, time, and/or other resources and is not derivative of any other college-owned copyright. (Students may not use college equipment or resources for works for hire.)
      5. Inventions or discoveries made by the Employee entirely on his/her personal time (e.g. made during non-working hours) and not involving the use of the college facilities or materials are the property of the inventor except as may be specified in any applicable agreement between the college and the federal or state government, or an agency thereof.
    2. The Employee shall disclose promptly to the college all discoveries and inventions made during the term of any Agreement or Contract.  The duty to disclose arises as soon as the Employee has reason to believe, based on his or her own knowledge or upon information supplied by others, that the discovery or invention may be patentable.  Certainty about patentability is not required before a disclosure is made.  The Employee shall execute such declarations, assignments, or other documents as may be necessary in the course of invention evaluation, patent prosecution, or protection of rights to insure that title to such inventions shall be held by the College.
  3. Ownership resides with the College
    1. Ownership resides with the College if the following criteria apply:
      1. The work is prepared within the scope of an employee’s job duties.
      2. The work is the product of a specific contract or assignment made in the course of the employee’s employment with the college.
      3. The development of the work involved significant facilities, time, and/or other resources of the college including, but not limited to, released time, grant funds, college personnel, salary supplement, leave with pay, equipment, or other materials or financial assistance, or is derivative of any other college-owned copyright.
    2. Although an employee may not personally profit from college-owned property which he or she developed, the employee may include it as representative in a personal portfolio.
  4. Copyright
    If the Employee does not satisfy all of the criteria set forth in Section II, "Ownership resides with the employee or student," then the College asserts copyright ownership in all original works of authorship created by the Employee during the term of any Agreement or Contract.  All such works shall be deemed “works-for-hire” under the U. S. copyright law; but to the extent a work does not qualify as a “work-for-hire,” the Employee hereby assigns to the College all rights, title and interest in and such to work throughout the world.  Works subject to this provision include, but are not limited to, textbooks, course content as taught at the college, and course design materials used to present course content.
  5. Patents
    With the exception of inventions made on personal time, every invention or discovery or part thereof that results from research or other activities carried out at the college by the Employee or that is developed by the Employee with aid of the college’s facilities, staff or through funds administered by the college during any Agreement or Contract shall be the property of the College and, as a condition of employment, shall be assigned by the Employee to the College in the manner prescribed by the College.
  6. Joint Ownership
    1. Joint ownership agreements should be negotiated prior to creation of the property.  When it can be foreseen that commercially valuable property will be created, the College and the employee or the College and the student should negotiate an agreement for ownership and the sharing of benefits. The College and the employee or the College and the student may enter into an agreement for an equitable arrangement for joint ownership, sharing of royalties, or reimbursement to the college for its costs and support. In all such joint ownership cases, the agreement shall provide that the college will have a perpetual license to use the work without compensation to the employee or student for such use.
    2. If an employee is granted full or partial leave with pay (e.g. release time or educational leave), to write, develop, produce, or invent intellectual property, the employee and the college will share in any financial gain, and the college's share will be negotiated prior to the time the leave is taken. Notwithstanding the provisions of this policy, in the case of a work created under a grant accepted by the college, the ownership provisions of the grant shall prevail.
  7. Use of Revenue
    The revenue derived from college-owned intellectual property is considered to be the same type of funding as that which allowed the development of the intellectual property, i.e. federal, state, county, or institutional.  Revenue from intellectual property generated by more than one type of funding is allocated to that revenue source in the year it is received in the same proportion as the funding that allowed the property to be created.  The College shall determine the use of the funding.
  8. Liability Issues
    All College faculty and staff will ensure that the courses and materials created by them are original except for such materials from copyrighted sources that are reproduced with the written permission of the copyright holder; that the courses or materials will in no way constitute a violation of or an infringement upon any copyright belonging to any other party; that the courses or materials will contain no information previously published or copyrighted by the faculty member unless such information is noted in the course or material; and that the course or material will contain no matter which is libelous or in any way contrary to law.
  9. Disciplinary Action
    Individuals are responsible and liable for their own actions in the creation, use, and distribution of intellectual property.  Violations of this policy may also result in disciplinary action by the College including expulsion from the College and/or termination of employment.