2016-2017 Graduate Academic Catalog

Intellectual Property

Lesley University acknowledges the import of intellectual property ownership. As such, this policy clarifies the ambiguities surrounding intellectual property ownership and details those rights the University and its faculty, staff, and students hold.

This policy applies to all faculty, staff, and students of Lesley University. Compliance with the terms of this policy is a condition of employment for University faculty and staff and of enrollment for University students. The Lesley University Policy on Ownership of Intellectual Property: Questions and Answers supplements this policy. Faculty, staff, and students are strongly encouraged to refer to these two documents frequently.

This policy does not address the use of copyrighted works. A separate policy, the Lesley University Policy on Use of Copyrighted Works, addresses this issue. Also, this policy does not apply to any intellectual property created before someone becomes affiliated with Lesley University. Finally, any approved written contract will supersede the terms of this policy when necessary to facilitate a partnership and the chief academic officer must approve all such contracts. Lesley University highly recommends that all faculty, staff, and students contract with all co-authors and/or external sponsors, before the creation of a work, regarding intellectual property ownership.

I. Statement of Principles

Lesley University is dedicated to academic freedom as a means to scholarly inquiry and academic production. As such, Lesley University encourages its faculty, staff, and students to create intellectual property and rewards them by recognizing their rights. The Lesley University Policy on Ownership of Intellectual Property maintains the traditional norms that foster scholarly inquiry and academic production, allowing authors to retain ownership in their intellectual property unless Lesley University has invested substantial resources or otherwise merits ownership of the intellectual property.

II. Definitions

  1. Author: Anyone who offers a substantial intellectual contribution to the creation of intellectual property.
  2. Intellectual property: The copyrightable works (i.e., original works of authorship fixed in tangible mediums of expression, which include documents in digital form) or patentable works created by faculty, staff, and student authors.
  3. Administrative works: Original works created mostly by staff, but sometimes by faculty and students, that do not constitute pedagogical or scholarly and artistic works (e.g., memoranda, reports).
  4. Commissioned works: Administrative, pedagogical, or scholarly and artistic works specially ordered by the University and contractually described as commissioned works.
  5. Pedagogical works: Original works created predominately by faculty, but sometimes by staff and students, to facilitate their teaching duties (e.g., syllabi, curriculum surveys, etc.).
  6. Scholarly and artistic works: Original works created by faculty, staff, and students, derived from their academic research or artistic talent, and related to the faculty and staff’s employment or the student’s coursework. (If faculty and staff or students create uncommissioned intellectual property outside their academic fields or independent of their classes, respectively, then this policy does not apply because it is assumed that Lesley University has provided no resources.)
  7. Sponsored works: Administrative, pedagogical, or scholarly and artistic works created using substantial University resources.
  8. Works made for hire: Works created by faculty, staff, or students within the scope of their employment and regardless of whether Lesley University has issued separate payment (e.g., administrative works, commissioned works, sponsored works, curriculum surveys).
  9. Rights: Includes intellectual property rights and use rights.
  10. Intellectual property rights: The full panoply of rights legislatively granted to authors. Whoever retains the intellectual property rights owns the intellectual property.
  11. Use rights: The specific rights this policy reserves to the University, faculty, staff, or students when so specified.
  12. University use rights: To archive and to make and/or limitedly distribute representational reproductions of faculty and/or student-owned intellectual property for noncommercial and educational purposes (e.g., admission catalogs, accreditation).
  13. Faculty use rights: To reproduce and/or distribute their own intellectual property and/or to make and/or limitedly distribute representational reproductions of their Lesley University students’ intellectual property for noncommercial and educational purposes.*
  14. Staff and student use rights: To reproduce and/or distribute their own intellectual property for noncommercial and educational purposes (e.g., portfolios).
  15. University resources: Describes the University’s investment in the intellectual property.
  16. Normal University resources: Includes access to an office space, a laboratory, a computer and University-purchased and supported software or licenses, laboratory equipment, and library resources. Normal University resources also include sabbaticals and other normal means of professional development (e.g., conferences).
  17. Substantial University resources: Includes all resources not customarily provided (e.g., support staff hired to create intellectual property, additional funding).

III. Copyright Ownership

Lesley University recognizes that, generally, authors retain copyright ownership in their intellectual property, but Lesley University does assert copyright ownership in all works made for hire.

  1. Administrative works: Lesley University hires and requires staff to create administrative works. Therefore, administrative works constitute works made for hire, and Lesley University asserts copyright ownership in all administrative works. While most administrative works are staff-authored, Lesley University asserts copyright ownership irrespective of whether faculty, staff, or students create administrative works.
  2. Commissioned works: When Lesley University commissions a work, but before the author creates the work, Lesley University and the author must contractually describe who owns the copyright. In the absence of a written agreement, the author retains copyright ownership.
  3. Pedagogical works: Substantial use governs copyright ownership of uncommissioned pedagogical works. Lesley University will assert copyright ownership in all pedagogical works created using substantial University resources. Lesley University deems these works sponsored and, therefore, works made for hire. However, faculty, staff, and students shall retain copyright ownership in all works created using normal University resources. The following qualifications apply:
  4. Regardless of substantial use, Lesley University will assert copyright ownership in all curriculum surveys created during the author’s employment at Lesley University.
  5. In determining whether faculty, staff, and students have used substantial University resources to create pedagogical works, Lesley University recognizes that, while not determinative, the creation of new distance education materials are more likely to constitute sponsored works than materials prepared for a traditional classroom setting. This qualification applies to the creation of new pedagogical works but not to existing pedagogical materials placed online for the first time.
  6. Faculty, staff, and students retain use rights when Lesley University asserts copyright ownership, and Lesley University retains use rights when faculty, staff, or students assert copyright ownership. Moreover, when students assert copyright ownership, that copyright ownership is subject to faculty use rights.
  7. Faculty, staff, and students have the right to use, for teaching purposes at Lesley University and other nonprofit educational institutions, all pedagogical works that they have created, regardless of whether Lesley University has asserted copyright ownership. Faculty, staff, and students who no longer work at Lesley University retain this right.
  8. Faculty, staff, and students may commercialize their own pedagogical works if Lesley University has not asserted copyright ownership, with the exception that they may not sell their courses to other academic institutions without Lesley University’s consent. The chief academic officer must provide consent, and Lesley University is entitled to 50% of the royalties unless otherwise contracted.
  9. Scholarly and artistic works: Substantial use governs copyright ownership of uncommissioned scholarly and artistic works. Lesley University will assert copyright ownership in all scholarly and artistic works created using substantial University resources. Lesley University deems these works sponsored and, therefore, works made for hire. However, faculty, staff, and students shall retain copyright ownership in all works created using normal University resources. The following qualifications apply:
  10. Faculty, staff, and students retain use rights when Lesley University asserts copyright ownership, and Lesley University retains use rights when faculty, staff, or students assert copyright ownership. Moreover, when students assert copyright ownership, that copyright ownership is subject to faculty use rights.
  11. Faculty, staff, and students have the right to use, for teaching purposes at Lesley University and other nonprofit educational institutions, all scholarly and artistic works that they have created, regardless of whether Lesley University has asserted copyright ownership. Faculty, staff, and students who no longer work at Lesley University retain this right.
  12. Faculty, staff, and students may commercialize their own scholarly and artistic works if Lesley University has not asserted copyright ownership.

IV. The Lesley University Trademark

Faculty, staff, and students may not associate Lesley University’s name with their pedagogical or scholarly and artistic works, except to identify themselves as Lesley University faculty, staff, or students.

V. Patent Ownership

When a faculty, staff, or student believes that he or she is producing a patentable work and if the work relates to the faculty and staff’s employment or the student’s coursework, then he or she must report this work to the chief academic officer. If Lesley University decides to pursue patent protection for the work within one year, the faculty, staff, or student must assist Lesley University in seeking patent protection. Lesley University will assume all costs, but the faculty, staff, or student must assign all patent rights to Lesley University. Nonetheless, the faculty, staff, or student is entitled to 50% of the royalties unless otherwise contracted. If Lesley University decides not to pursue patent protection for the work, the author remains free to pursue patent protection and shall retain all royalties therefrom.

VI. University Responsibilities

When Lesley University asserts ownership in intellectual property, Lesley University assumes responsibility for protecting its own intellectual property rights.

VII. Faculty, Staff, and Student Responsibilities

When faculty, staff, or students retain ownership in their intellectual property, they retain responsibility for protecting their own intellectual property rights.

If Lesley University faculty, staff, or students have any questions regarding whether Lesley University may assert ownership in their intellectual property, it is their responsibility to clarify ownership with the chief academic officer. If ambiguities exist, especially concerning substantial use, it is the responsibility of the author to request a written contract regarding ownership before he or she creates the work.

See Lesley University Policy Governing Human Subjects Research for related concerns