3.23 Ownership and Management of Intellectual Property

Syracuse University is dedicated to teaching, research, and the dissemination of knowledge. When these activities have been supported by the University and have resulted in the creation of properties that have economic interest and value, Syracuse University will retain title to, or have a fair and equitable income interest proportional to the University’s investment in, those properties that will reflect the legitimate interest of University investment as well as the traditions of academic freedom and pursuit.

Members of the University: For the purpose of this policy, member(s) of the University are defined as faculty, staff, students, or any person performing research or engaging in work or study utilizing University resources or facilities, whether or not they are compensated for their services.

Technology: For the purposes of this policy, technology denotes inventions, discoveries, creations, technical innovations, information in various forms, including computer software, and tangible research property created in the course of research. Tangible research property includes, but is not limited to, notes, sketches, drawings, results of research or experiments, computer code or records, or any embodiment of the technology into any form. For purposes of this policy, technology does not include any copyright publication.

Title and Interest in Copyright Publications: Title to any copyright publication belongs to the member who has created the copyright publication, except in the case when it has been created under a sponsored program where there are ownership restrictions or in the case the copyright publication was created as part of a member’s explicit work assignment. Copyright publication includes, without limitation, written and artistic materials (such as articles, books, compilations, and visual and performing art works), whether or not protected by copyright. Under this policy copyright publication does not include software.

Generally Available Resource(s) and University Allocated Resources(s): For the purposes of this policy, generally available resource(s) refers to office space, library, and traditional desktop computers. In addition, the University will construe salary paid from regularly budgeted department accounts as generally available resource(s). In those cases where salary was paid to accomplish or produce certain tasks or materials that were part of the member’s work assignment with the University or a part of a sponsored program, that salary is considered a University allocated resource(s). Other University allocated resource(s) refers to all University resources and facilities that have not been defined as generally available resource(s).

Technology Resulting from Research Supported with Externally Sponsored or University Allocated Resources: Title to technology resulting from research, work, or study which was supported by externally sponsored or University allocated resources will belong to Syracuse University. Any revenue received by the University as a result of the license or transfer of such technology will be distributed to those who created the technology in accordance with the paragraph, Distribution of Revenue (below). The University may transfer its interest in the technology to a member, a member’s corporation, or an organization with which a member has significant financial ties. In this situation a license agreement will be negotiated between that member or organization and the University.

Technology Resulting from Research Supported with Generally Available University Resources: Title to technology except technology identified in the previous paragraph, resulting from research, work, or study solely supported with generally available resources, will belong to the member; and the University will have an equitable interest in the net revenue (as defined in the paragraph, Distribution of Revenue, below) realized from the income, sale, or transfer of the technology. When the technology identified under this paragraph is transferred or licensed by a member to a third party or is retained by the member for his/her economic development, a royalty agreement will be negotiated between Syracuse University and the member. The royalty and license agreement will reflect the University’s investment in the technology.

Committee on Intellectual Property: The Vice President for Research appoints a Committee on Intellectual Property including faculty from diverse academic units, at least one academic professional staff member, and at least one student. A normal term for service will be three years with membership renewable for one term. The Senior Vice President for Business and Finance and the Vice President for Research will serve on the committee as ex officio members. A senior member of the faculty serves as chair of the committee. The committee advises the Vice President for Research the interpretation, administration, and implementation of this policy. Any appeals of the decisions of the Vice President for Research are directed to the Chancellor.

Distribution of Revenue from Technology: Net revenue (defined as gross revenues less the costs and expenses incurred and related to the securing of legal protection, marketing, licensing, and other expenses associated with the technology) received by the University from the transfer, sale, or licensing of technology, is distributed as follows:

  • Fifteen percent of net revenues will be retained by the University in support of its costs in managing its intellectual property program.
  • The remaining net revenues (distributable net revenues) will be distributed 50 percent to the inventor(s) or creators(s) and 50 percent to the University in accordance with the University’s schedule for calculating and dispersing distributable net revenues.
  • The University’s share of distributable net revenues will be used for the support of the department(s) or unit(s) of the inventor(s) or creator(s), development of new intellectual property, or to support the general research and scholarly goals of the University.
  • Modification of the standard distribution of distributable net revenue may be made in consideration of extenuating circumstances, including but not limited to proportion or royalties retained personally by inventor(s) or creator(s), extent of investment by all parties, and the additional support needed for further development of the technology.
  • Any modification of the standard distribution of royalties will be made by the Vice President for Research in consultation with the Committee on Intellectual Property.

Management of University Technology: The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) has the primary responsibility within Syracuse University for managing and administering matters involving technology developed at Syracuse. OSP will consult with members regarding the best means for development and transfer of the technology created by members. It may be necessary, in accordance with the terms of this policy, that any assignments, licenses, transfers, applications, registrations, or any other documents that are necessary to evidence the University’s ownership in technology be executed by members.

Disclosure: Under some United States and foreign laws, public disclosure, use, or sale of technology prior to obtaining statutory protection may prejudice, or destroy, the availability of obtaining certain legal protection. In order to protect the University’s, member’s, or any licensee’s rights in technology, no contractual or other legally enforceable agreement for the sale, transfer, or use of University- owned technology may be made except by the University in accordance with this policy. It is also essential to consult with OSP prior to making any technology publicly known or available.

Limited License in All Technology Created by Members: Notwithstanding any other provision of this policy, Syracuse University maintains a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and nontransferable license to use for noncommercial purposes for teaching, training, and research with the University, all technology created by its members.

Good Faith: The fair and effective implementation of this policy requires good faith cooperation, collegiality and candor on behalf of Syracuse University and all of its members. For its part, the University will seek to advise affected members promptly and fully on all matters regarding technology. Members, in turn, will communicate promptly and fully with OSP whenever their research involves technology covered by the policy.

Amendment: This policy may be amended from time to time pursuant to the University’s policies and procedures in effect for amending documents setting forth University policy.

Drafted by the Senate Research Committee and approved by the Chancellor as interim policy July 13, 1992

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