2.20 Intellectual Property Policy
This policy pertains to patents that may result from work conducted under sponsored agreements, and also to work conducted with substantive use of College resources beyond the usual provision of office space and a desktop computer. Included in this policy are a statement on copyrights, and a statement on royalty-sharing.
From time to time, Ithaca College faculty or staff may use resources derived from Ithaca College or from external sponsors' funding through Ithaca College to discover or invent substances or methods that have potential commercial value. This policy sets the rules for those instances where the invention should have the protection of a patent. If the discovery falls within the scope of the faculty member's laboratory research, teaching, or other College related duties, or if the faculty member wishes to assign a patent developed outside of the scope of the faculty member's professional duties to the College, then the following policy on patent rights shall apply. The aims of this policy are, first, to encourage appropriate faculty and staff entrepreneurship; and second, to protect the College's financial interest and reputation. In approaching the commercial use of intellectual property it should be recognized by all full-time faculty and staff that their principal allegiance is to the institution.
An employee of the College shall promptly report to the director
of academic funding any discovery, invention, possible invention,
or potentially useful biological or chemical material that the
individual has made in pursuit of professional or staff activities,
and which the individual has reason to believe might be useful,
patentable, or otherwise protectable. This is to be done regardless
of whether College funds, or funds from an external source,
provided the immediate support for the work from which the
invention resulted. This notification should be done before
publication or detailed announcement in order to allow external
expert appraisal and documentation. Instructions for the proper
method of reporting should be requested from the Office of Academic
The director shall determine whether or not to submit a patent
disclosure for evaluation by an outside agent selected by the
College and under the terms of a general agreement between such an
agent and the College. The individual is expected to cooperate in
every way necessary (but at no expense to the individual) with the
College and the outside agent, including the assigning of any
patent rights the individual may have, in order to permit the
College and the outside agent to evaluate the discovery or
invention and to pursue the appropriate steps to obtain a patent.
Royalties or other income resulting from the discovery or invention
shall be shared among the inventor, the College, and the outside
agent. The Royalty-Sharing Policy shall set forth the distribution
of income to be implemented after the College shall have complied
with the terms of its agreement with the outside agent. The
College's arrangement with the outside agent for handling patents
shall reflect the importance of serving the public interest in
If after a reasonable time for evaluation, the College fails to
pursue a patent, or if the College positively elects not to pursue
a patent, then the individual may elect to pursue the patenting and
commercial introduction of a potential invention without assistance
from the College. In this event, the director must be so notified
in writing and the plans for doing so briefly described; the
director shall notify the individual as to the College's intent
with regard to the discovery or invention, including, if
appropriate, the assignment of rights to the individual. An
individual who obtains a patent, under the terms of this paragraph,
without assistance from the College shall be entitled to all
royalties and other income resulting therefrom. It is expected that
in pursuing patents, individuals will make arrangements that best
serve the public interest, and the director will be available to
advise individuals on this question.
Notwithstanding paragraphs 1 and 2, whenever research or a related activity is subject to an agreement between an external sponsor and the College that contains restrictions as to the disposition of discoveries or inventions, any discoveries or inventions shall be handled in accordance with such agreement. All participants in externally sponsored research accept the conditions in the agreement between the College and the sponsor in agreeing to participate in the sponsored research. In negotiating with sponsors, the director of academic funding and other representatives of the College should strive to obtain the greatest obtainable latitude and rights for the individual inventor and the College consistent with the public interest and this policy.
(Applicable to both patents and copyrights; see "copyrights")
- In some situations, because of substantial College involvement,
it may be appropriate to vary in favor of the College by explicit
agreement between the College and an inventor or author (and an
outside sponsor, if one is involved), the foregoing provisions
concerning rights to obtain a patent or the rights to royalties or
other income, or both. At the request of either the director or the
inventor or author, the College may, with the President's approval,
develop an agreement that supersedes the general policy.
- In the case of sponsored works, the agreement with the sponsor shall provide either that the sponsor reimburse the College for its reasonable expenses and/or that the College shall have the right to recover its reasonable expenses, including charges for special equipment used, and the cost of obtaining patent protection, out of royalty income, unless the College, in exceptional cases and in advance, agrees to waive a portion or all of such expenses for reasons of public policy, e.g. in the case of educational materials for disadvantaged children.
The accumulated net income (gross royalties, license fees and/or lump-sum payments minus administrative, licensing, legal, and other related expenses incurred by the College) resulting from an invention to which the College has taken title will be divided as follows.4
Cumulative Net Income
The departmental share may be used for operating, research, or student support as the department chooses, with the President's approval.
- The inventors' share will nominally be shared equally among all
inventors unless they agree otherwise.
- Inventors may arrange for their personal share to be retained
by the College (e.g. to support their research).
- The inventors' share will continue even if the inventors have left Ithaca College.
Ithaca College encourages the pursuit of artistic and intellectual eminence by its faculty members, and will strive to interpret this policy so as to assist members in enhancing the overall reputation of the faculty.
- Except as qualified below, a member of the College is entitled
to ownership of copyright and royalties or other income derived
from works, including books, films, cassettes, software, works of
art, and other materials that are personal intellectual or artistic
products. It is expected that when entering into agreements for the
publication and distribution of copyrighted materials individuals
will make arrangements that best serve the public interest.
- Notwithstanding paragraph 1, immediately above, whenever
research or a related activity is subject to an agreement between a
sponsor and the College that contains restrictions concerning
copyright or the use of copyrighted materials, all materials shall
be handled in accordance with such agreement. In negotiating with
sponsors, project directors and the College should strive to
protect and advance the public interest as well as to obtain the
greatest latitude and rights for the individual author and the
College consistent with the public interest and this policy.
- Notwithstanding paragraph 1, immediately above, whenever
copyrightable work is created by a member of the non-teaching staff
as part of the individual's College responsibilities, the work
shall be treated as a work-for-hire under the terms of the
Copyright Act of 1976, and the ownership will ordinarily be
retained by the College.
- Where a copyrightable work is designed and produced as a class
project, or is substantially designed by a student or students
under a professor's supervision, the College may elect either to
take copyright or to require a share of net royalties from the
professor's copyright. The patent royalty table should be used as a
guide. (It is recognized that many creative disciplines at Ithaca
are taught through apprenticeship. This section is not to be
construed to deny the member's copyright where a film, video,
musical recording, painting, etc. is essentially the personal
intellectual product of the professor, produced with student
assistance for the students' educational benefit.)
- In instances where a professor's copyrightable work is supported by an unusual contribution of College resources, such as an internal grant or a large expenditure of educational supplies, a share of royalties or reimbursement of costs from project income may be required. The chair, dean, or provost authorizing such unusual expenditures should make this condition clear in writing at the time of authorization.
Full-time faculty and staff of Ithaca College who propose to receive funds from an external federal or corporate source for research or materials development projects must indicate, in the process of approval, whether any conditions exist which might create an actual or apparent conflict of interest, with potential to harm the integrity of the proposed work or the reputation of the College.
A possible conflict of interest does not preclude acceptance of the grant or contract in question; but appropriate disclosures or other safeguards may need to be implemented and accepted by both the investigator and the institution. Information received on possible financial interests in a proposed project will be kept strictly confidential, except where public disclosure is a safeguard the investigator and College have agreed upon; however, records of such internal disclosure may be subject to IRS audit or court subpoenas.
Each investigator who proposes to receive a governmental or corporate grant or contract must complete and sign a form that enables the College to answer three questions:
- Does the investigator, a colleague of the investigator,
associate have a significant financial interest that would
reasonably appear to be affected by the conduct or outcome of the
grant- funded activities?
- Will the significant financial interest, if it exists,
potentially affect the integrity of the project, i.e. how the
project is run or what kinds of results are reported?
- If a potential effect or the appearance of an effect on the project is present, what steps will the investigator and the College take to assure its integrity?
It is the ownership of 5% or more of a company or business that will potentially benefit from the work; ownership of $ 10,000 or more in stock, patents, or other assets that are likely to be affected by work or its results; or an income of $ 10,000 or more within one year to be reasonably projected through salary, royalties, or other fees. The salary that is to be drawn from the grant, contract, or fellowship itself, or from the College as recipient of funds, is exempted; so are lecture fees and consultant fees that may be drawn from non-profit entities as a result of the grant. (Ownership of over $10,000 equity representing less than 5% ownership of a listed stock company whose business might be affected by the grant outcomes need not be reported as a potential conflict.)
After review determines that a conflict exists, the College may require that any of a wide range of steps be taken, following discussion with the investigator. These may range from disclosure to the funder, to disclosure in public announcements, to special monitoring arrangements, to divestment of the conflicting interest. The College's purpose in management of conflict of interest will be to protect the following: its own fiscal interests and reputation; the intellectual integrity of scholarly work associated with the College; and the professional growth of faculty and staff. Steps taken to manage a conflict of interest need not be undertaken until notice of award is received, but must precede expenditure of funds.
Faculty or staff members applying for grants, contracts, or comparable awards through the College will sign a simple form as part of the routing process, indicating that they do or do not have a present or foreseeable "significant financial interest" related to the grant or contract. If they indicate that they do or may have such an interest, a confidential disclosure will be required for review by an administrative panel representing the Provost's Office, Academic Funding, and the College Counsel. Appropriate senior faculty members may also be impaneled if their expertise is required. If a potential conflict is present, management steps will be proposed, discussed with the investigator, and then stipulated as conditions for expenditure of the award.
The above policy refers only to externally sponsored research, materials development, training, and other types of program delivery in which funds are awarded to or handled by the College. External funding awarded directly to an investigator rather than through the College must be reported to the Provost as outside employment. The College reserves the right to require faculty or other employees to follow the procedure described above if the outside employment project substantively involves use of other College personnel or College resources other than use of the investigator's office space, office computer, and comparable standard resources provided to individual faculty members.
2.20.6 Policy for Dealing with Possible
Misconduct in Research Under External Grant or Contract
All externally funded investigators are bound by the following policy on academic misconduct.
Important Note: This is a summary of the full policy applicable to federal grants, copies of which are available from the Academic Funding Office and the Provost's Office. Funded investigators will be furnished with copies of the full policy, which aims to comply in full with regulations of the Public Health Service, CFR 50.101-105.
The Public Health Service defines misconduct in scientific research as follows: Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conduction, or reporting research. Misconduct does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretation or judgment of data.
Misconduct is defined by the National Science Foundation as follows: "Misconduct" means (1) fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing, carrying out, or reporting results from research, (2) material failure to comply with Federal requirements for protection of researchers, human subjects, or the public or for ensuring the welfare of laboratory animals, or (3) failure to meet other material legal requirements governing research.
In cases where scholarly misconduct is alleged to have occurred in work by or for Ithaca College personnel, and for which governmental funding has been received in any form, the following steps shall be taken:
- Allegations of scholarly misconduct or dishonesty shall be
directed to the Provost, who will make an initial, informal inquiry
to assure that they are not frivolous and to ascertain whether they
do in fact affect or involve governmentally funded personnel or
- If governmentally funded activities are involved, the academic
funding officer will initiate contact with appropriate agencies as
required in federal or state regulations, and all steps to follow
will be conducted in accordance with applicable regulations,
superseding the steps outlined here.
- The Provost will pursue inquiry by designating an inquiry chair
and seek two (2) tenured full professors in appropriate disciplines
from Ithaca and one (1) from Cornell or another research
institution to assist in the inquiry. The composition of the
committee may be varied if the Provost deems it necessary to assure
appropriate expertise and to avoid apparent or actual conflicts of
- Operating confidentially, the inquiry committee may require any
records they deem necessary from the investigators accused of
misconduct; may request that a procedure be repeated or
demonstrated; and may recommend to the Provost other necessary
steps, including repetition of a procedure by an outside
investigator. Their aim will be to determine, first, whether
misconduct occurred; second, to recommend further action or
investigation to the Provost; third, to issue a written
- In instances where clarifications of professional credit,
repetition of poorly documented work, or other steps may be
acceptable to all parties as a way of removing the allegation, the
inquiry committee may, under the Provost's direction, act in a
- In the event misconduct in governmentally funded research
appears to have occurred, the Provost will recommend to the
President appropriate action with respect to external funders,
further investigation that may seem warranted, including steps
toward criminal investigation if necessary, and disciplinary steps
to be initiated against the investigator.
- All steps described herein will be conducted so as to comply
with the Health and Human Services guidelines as closely as
possible; an inquiry will be completed within 60 days of receipt of
an allegation of misconduct in governmentally supported research.
If sufficient basis for investigation into possible scientific
misconduct exists, that investigation will be initiated within 30
days of the inquiry report, and will be completed within 120 days.
The College will act to prevent health hazards, to protect
individuals, and to safeguard federal funds and equipment. It will
take steps to notify the Office of Research Integrity at each
appropriate juncture, and will notify external funders within 24
hours of any indication of possible criminal violations.
- Additional steps will be taken as necessary to meet procedural
requirements of the federal or state funding agency, for it is the
intention of the College to assure full compliance with federal and
related state regulations, as well as to assure scientific
- Throughout the above steps, the College will seek to protect and preserve the reputation and positions of those who have made allegations of misconduct in good faith, and also the reputations and positions of those who have been the object of allegations found to be false. Accusers and the accused will have appropriate opportunities to respond to findings, a good faith effort will be made to keep the procedures of inquiry and identities of those involved confidential.
4 The definition of "net income" does not include option payments obtained from Research Corporation Technologies or other external agents as a result of invention disclosures submitted to that organization. Such payments will be reserved for the inventor's use in a separate College account.
5 Family includes a spouse, children and other dependents, parents, and siblings.
August 15, 2001