2.20 Intellectual Property Policy

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.

2.20.1 Patents

  1. 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 Funding.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 2.20.2 General Provisions

(Applicable to both patents and copyrights; see "copyrights")

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

 2.20.3 Royalty Sharing

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


First $5,000


Above $50,000





Inventor's Department








The departmental share may be used for operating, research, or student support as the department chooses, with the President's approval.

  1. The inventors' share will nominally be shared equally among all inventors unless they agree otherwise.
  2. Inventors may arrange for their personal share to be retained by the College (e.g. to support their research).
  3. The inventors' share will continue even if the inventors have left Ithaca College.

 2.20.4 Copyrights

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.

 2.20.5 Conflict of Interest Policy

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 College. 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:

  1. Does the investigator, a colleague of the investigator, family,5 or associate have a significant financial interest that would reasonably appear to be affected by the conduct or outcome of the grant- funded activities?
  2. 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?
  3. 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? Significant Financial Interest

A Financial Interest that reasonably appears to be related to the Investigator's Institutional Responsibilities, and:

  1. if with a publicly traded entity, the aggregate value of any salary or other payments for services received during the 12 month period preceding the disclosure, and the value of any equity interest during the 12 month period preceding or as of the date of disclosure, exceeds $5,000; or
  2. if with a non-publicly traded entity, the aggregate value of any salary or other payments for services received during the 12 month period preceding the disclosure exceeds $5,000; or
  3. if with a non-publicly traded company, is an equity interest of any value during the 12 month period preceding or as of the date of disclosure; or
  4. is income exceeding $5,000 related to intellectual property rights and interests not reimbursed through the Institution, or
  5. is reimbursed or sponsored travel related to their institutional responsibilities.

Financial Conflict of Interest means a Significant Financial Interest that the College reasonably determines could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting of sponsored research. Ways of "Managing" Possible Conflict of Interest

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. Procedure to be Followed

Disclosure Responsibilities:

Ithaca College requires an Investigator to submit a conflict of interest disclosure form to a Public Health Service (PHS) agency, as well as all other federally-funded agencies to ensure the design, conduct, and reporting of sponsored program/project activity will not be biased by significant financial interests or obligations of any investigators:

  1. at the time of internal routing application for sponsored funding;
  2. at least annually thereafter during the period of research activity; and
  3. at any time during the research within 30 days of the discovery or acquisition of a new reportable financial interest.

In addition, PHS-funded investigators must disclose within 30 days of travel, the occurrence of any travel expenses reimbursed directly to them (not through Ithaca College) or paid directly on their behalf, related to their institutional responsibilities. This disclosure does not apply to travel that is reimbursed or paid by a federal, state, or local government agency, an institution of higher education, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an institution of higher education.

PHS-supported researchers must complete online Conflict of Interest training through CITI certification program prior to account set up and at least once every four years thereafter, or when the policy changes or an investigator has demonstrated a lack of understanding of the policy's requirements.

Monitoring and Review of Disclosures:

The Institutional Official designated as the Director of Sponsored Research will monitor the receipt of disclosure of SFIs and manage their review. All disclosure forms, conflict management plans, and related documents will be retained for a period of three years from the date of the final expenditure report or until all litigation, claims or audit findings involving the records have been resolved and final action taken. To the extent permitted by law, all disclosure forms, conflict management plans and related documents will be confidential. However, the College may be required to make such information available to the primary entity who made the funding available to the College if requested, or required. The Investigator will be informed of such disclosures. Managing Financial Conflicts of Interest

If an investigator indicates 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, Sponsored Research, and the General Counsel. Appropriate senior faculty members may also be impaneled if their expertise is required. If a potential conflict of interest is present, management steps will be proposed, discussed with the investigator, and then stipulated as conditions for expenditure of the award. The affected Investigator must formally agree to and sign this written management plan before any related sponsored research goes forward.

Sponsored Research will periodically review the ongoing activity, monitor the conduct of activity (including use of students and postdoc appointees), to ensure open and timely dissemination of the research results, and to otherwise oversee compliance with the management plan. Investigator Non-Compliance

Alleged violations of this policy will be reported to the appropriate dean by the Director of Sponsored Research. Alleged violations will be reviewed by means of an inquiry conducted by the appropriate dean, the matter to be determined at their discretion. If this review finds there was a deliberate breach of the policy, including failure to file, knowingly filling incomplete, erroneous, or misleading disclosure forms; or failure to comply with procedures prescribed in fulfillment of this policy, the dean will consult with the Director of Sponsored Research on appropriate sanctions to be imposed. A decision to impose sanctions on an investigator and where applicable, the HSR, and will notify the individual of the right to appeal the decision. The College must promptly notify the awarding component, or if a subaward the prime awardee, of the action taken.

Retrospective Review


  • An investigator fails to disclose a Significant Financial Interest that is determined by the College to constitute a financial conflict of interest;
  • The College fails to review or manage such a financial conflict of interest;
  • An investigator fails to comply with a financial conflict of interest management plan; or
  • In some other manner a financial conflict of interest is not identified or managed in a timely manner;

The College may conduct a retrospective review to determine whether any funded research, or portion thereof, conducted during the time period of the non-compliance was biased in the design, conduct, or reporting of the research. In all cases involving PHS-funded research, the College will conduct its review within 120 days of determining the non-compliance. This review will be conducted for all other sponsored research at the College's discretion. Reporting

Requirements for reporting and public accessibility of disclosures depend in part on the requirements imposed by the external sponsor of the research:

Prior to the expenditure of funds, the Institution will publish on a publicly-accessible website or respond to any requestor within five business days of the request, information concerning any Significant Financial Interest that meets the following criteria:

  • The Significant Financial Interest was disclosed and is still held by the senior and key personnel;
  • A determination has been made that the Significant Financial Interest is related to the PHS-funded research; and
  • A determination has been made that the Significant Financial Interest is a Financial Conflict of Interest.

The information to be made available shall be consistent with the requirements of the PHS regulation.

Ithaca College is now registered within the Federal Demonstration Partnership Conflict of Interest Clearinghouse. This permits other institutions interested in partnering with Ithaca College to confirm compliance with the PHS rules and regulations.

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. Definitions

Clinical Trial means any PHS-sponsored research study that involves interaction with human subjects and the concurrent investigative use of drugs, biologics, devices or medical or other clinical procedures, such as surgery.

Financial Interest means anything of monetary value received by or held by an Investigator or an Investigator's Family, whether or not the value is readily ascertainable, including, but not limited to: salary or other payments for services (e.g., consulting fees, honoraria, or paid authorships for other than scholarly works); any equity interests (e.g., stocks, stock options, or other ownership interests); and intellectual property rights and interests (e.g., patents, trademarks, service marks, and copyrights), upon receipt of royalties or other income related to such intellectual property rights and interests.

Financial Interest does NOT include:

  1. salary, royalties, or other remuneration from the Institution;
  2. income from the authorship of academic or scholarly works;
  3. income from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by or from advisory committees or review panels for U.S. Federal, state or local government agencies; U.S. institutions of higher education; research institutes affiliated with institutions of higher education, academic teaching hospitals, and medical centers; or
  4. equity interests or income from investment vehicles, such as mutual funds and retirement accounts, so long as the Investigator does not directly control the investment decisions made in these vehicles.

For Investigators, Financial Interest also includes any reimbursed or sponsored travel undertaken by the Investigator and related to his/her institutional responsibilities. This includes travel that is paid on behalf of the Investigator as well as travel that is reimbursed, even if the exact monetary value is not readily available.

PHS regulations exclude travel paid by:

  • Ithaca College or funded by a sponsored award to Ithaca College;
  • U.S. Federal, state or local government agencies;
  • U.S. institutions of higher education or U.S. research institutes; and
  • U.S. academic teaching hospitals or U.S. medical centers that are affiliated with U.S. institutions of higher education.

Institutional official means the individual within the institution that is responsible for the solicitation and review of disclosures of significant financial interests including those of the Investigator's Family related to the Investigator's institutional responsibilities.

Institutional responsibilities means the Investigator's professional responsibilities associated with his or her Institutional appointment or position, such as research, teaching clinical activities, administration, and institutional, internal and external professional committee service.

Investigator means any individual who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of PHS sponsored research, or proposals for such funding. This definition is not limited to those titled or budgeted as principal investigator or co-investigator on a particular proposal, and may include postdoctoral associates, senior scientists, or graduate students. The definition may also include collaborators or consultants as appropriate.

Public Health Service or PHS means the Public Health Service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and any components of the PHS to which the authority of the PHS may be delegated. The components of the PHS include, but are not limited to, the Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Aging, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Federal Occupational Health, Food and Drug Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Research means a systematic investigation, study, or experiment designed to contribute a generalizable knowledge relating broadly to public health, including behavior and social-sciences research. The term encompasses basic and applied research (e.g., a published article, book or book chapter) and product development (e.g., a diagnostic test or drug).

2.20.6 Policy for Dealing with Possible Misconduct in Research Under External Grant or Contract Funding

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. Definition

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:

  1. 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 projects.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 interest.
  4. 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 report.
  5. 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 mediating role.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 integrity.
  9. 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 means any member of the Investigator's immediate family, specifically, any dependent children and spouse/domestic partner.

Date Effective: August 15, 2001
Last Updated: July 17, 2013