Ownership of University Intellectual Property

39 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2019

See all articles by Jon Garon

Jon Garon

Shepard Broad College of Law

Date Written: June 4, 2018


Every university needs a comprehensive set of written policies communicating the development of intellectual property resources in the context of its educational and research mission. Patent policies, copyright and trademark management, ownership guidelines, usage policies, and many other issues need to be carefully developed by each school.

These policies are not the same among the various forms of intellectual property and need to specify those rights assigned to the university and those rights retained by the student with specificity and detail. And even this is not enough. Students are often employees, a status that has a very different legal and contractual right under the university policies. Some students are also instructors and researchers. Similarly, faculty status does not convey the same rights for all individuals, so the policies must capture the distinctions between full-time faculty, visitors, adjuncts and those with other status.

By using the legal and business guidelines in copyright, patent, and other laws more carefully, schools can begin to tailor a usage and implementation policy that meets the educational and pedagogical goals of the classroom and research. Because the goals of academic instruction vary from school to school and even from class to class, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, the law provides a framework against which an academically sound policy can be developed.
This article highlights the role of copyright, patent, publicity rights, and trademark as they impact the teacher, researcher, student employee, student entrepreneur, and student athlete. It provides a framework for universities and their stakeholders to better understand the rights and responsibilities they have to each other regarding intellectual property rights and how best to draft policies and agreements within the context of those responsibilities.

Keywords: copyright, patent, intellectual property, employment, student entrepreneur, publicity rights

JEL Classification: I24, K10, L24, L26, L86, K39

Suggested Citation

Garon, Jon M., Ownership of University Intellectual Property (June 4, 2018). 36 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 635 (2018), Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 36, No. 3, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3431752

Jon M. Garon (Contact Author)

Shepard Broad College of Law ( email )

3301 College Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314
United States

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