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Intellectual Property Policy



Georgia Highlands College is dedicated to teaching, research, and the extension of knowledge to the public.† Georgia Highlands College personnel recognize as two of their major objectives, the production of new knowledge and the dissemination of both old and new knowledge.† Inherent in these objectives is the need to encourage the development of new and useful devices and processes, the publication and creation of scholarly works, and the development of computer software.† Such activities:

1.††contribute to the professional development of the faculty, staff or students involved.

2.††enhance the reputation of Georgia Highlands College.

3.††provide additional educational opportunities for participating students, and

4.††promote the general welfare of the public at large.

Materials which lend themselves to Copyright and to a lesser extent inventions which qualify for Patents often come about because of activities of Georgia Highlands College faculty, staff, or students who have been aided wholly or in part through the use of resources of Georgia Highlands College.† It becomes significant, therefore, to insure the utilization of such inventions for the public good and to expedite their development and marketing.† The rights and privileges, as well as the incentive, of the inventor or creator must be preserved so that his or her abilities and those of other faculty, staff or students of Georgia Highlands College may be further encouraged and stimulated.

Georgia Highlands College recognizes and encourages the publication of scholarly works as an integral part of the processes of teaching, research and service.† Georgia Highlands College acknowledges that faculty, staff, and students regularly prepare for publication, frequently through individual effort and initiative, articles, pamphlets, books and other scholarly works which may be subject to copyright and which may generate royalty income for the author.† Publication may also result from work supported either partially or completely by Georgia Highlands College.† With the advent of innovative techniques and procedures, the variety and number of materials which might be created in a college community have increased significantly, causing the ownership of such materials which lend themselves to copyright to become increasingly complex.

Georgia Highlands College recognizes the need for enhanced development and dissemination of software technology as a means of expressing both old and new knowledge.† Inasmuch as Georgia Highlands College is aware of the dynamic nature of software and that the value of intellectual property comes from the ability of its owner to control its use and that such value is directly related to the degree of protection it enjoys under the law, Georgia Highlands College encourages the protection of such expressions of knowledge by the utilization of appropriate intellectual property laws and the creation of comprehensive software technology transfer policies and procedures.

In certain instances to be described in this policy, intellectual property will become, in whole or in part, the property of the creator and/or the property of the Board of Regents.† When this policy speaks to ownership of intellectual property by Georgia Highlands College, the Board of Regents shall be the owner, and unless ownership has been transferred by the Board of Regents to an affiliated nonprofit organization of Georgia Highlands College.

The foregoing considered, Georgia Highlands College does hereby establish the policy with respect to the development, protection, and transfer of rights to intellectual property resulting from the work of its faculty, staff or students.† This policy shall be applicable to all full or part-time faculty, staff or students of Georgia Highlands College.


1.†††††††"Intellectual Property" shall be deemed to refer to patentable materials, copyrighted materials, trademarks, software, and trade secrets, whether or not formal protection is sought.

2.†††††††"Patentable Materials" shall be deemed to refer to items other than software which reasonably appear to qualify for protection under the patent laws of the United States or other protective statutes, including Novel Plan Varieties and Patentable Plants, whether or not patentable thereunder.†

3.†††††††"Copyrighted Materials" shall include the following: (1) books, web pages, journal articles, texts, glossaries, bibliographies, study guides, laboratory manuals, syllabi, tests and proposals; (2) lectures, musical or dramatic compositions, unpublished scripts; (3) films, filmstrips, charts, transparencies, and other visual aids; (4) video and audio tapes or cassettes: (5) live video and audio broadcasts; (6) programmed instructional materials; (7) mask works; and (8) other materials or works other than software which qualify for protection under the copyright laws of the United States (see 17 U.S.C. & 102 et seq.) or other protective statutes whether or not registered thereunder.†

4.†††††††"Software" shall include one or more computer programs existing in any form, or any associated operational procedures manuals or other documentation, whether or not protectable or protected by patent or copyright.† The term "computer program" shall mean a set of instructions, statements or related data that, in actual and modified form, is capable of causing a computer or computer system to perform specified functions.†

5.†††††††"Trademarks" shall include all trademarks, service marks, trade names, seals, symbols, designed, slogans, or logotypes developed by or associated with Georgia Highlands College.† (See 15 U.S.C. & 1127.)†

6.†††††††"Trade Secrets" means information including, but not limited to, technical or non-technical data, a formula, a pattern, a compilation, a program, a device, a method, a technique, a drawing, a process, financial data, financial plans, product plans, or a list of actual or potential customers or suppliers which: (I) derives economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and (II) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.† (See O.C.G.A. & 10- 1-761.)†

7.†††††† "Patentable Plant' means an asexually reproduced distinct and new variety of plant. (See 35 U.S.C. & 161.)†

8.†††††† "Mask Work" means a series of related images, however fixed or encoded: (I) having or representing the predetermined, three-dimensional pattern of metallic, insulating, or semi-conductor material present or removed from the layers of a semiconductor chip product; and (II) in which series the relation of the images to one another is that each image has the pattern of the surface of one form of the semiconductor chip product. (See 17 U.S.C. & 901.)†

"Novel Plant Variety" means a novel variety of sexual reproduced plant.


†A. For the purposes of this proposed policy statement, all such usage in any medium other than the†† traditional classroom situation will be referred to as Distance Learning and the courses themselves as Telecourses, though the appropriate treatment will vary depending upon the circumstances of creation and intended use.† Telecourses include all materials developed for said course(s).

†B.† Sponsor-Supported Efforts

Sponsored project agreements with the College or one of its foundations often contain specific provisions with respect to ownership of Intellectual Property developed during the course of such work, in which case the terms of the sponsored project agreement shall establish ownership.† When the sponsored project agreement is silent on the matter, all rights in intellectual property shall vest in the College.

Income, if any, from such Intellectual Property shall be shared with the Originator, subject to the sponsorís requirements, in accordance with Section H.†

† C.College-Supported Efforts

Ownership of Intellectual Property developed as a result of College-assigned efforts shall reside with the College.† Copyrightable works created by an employee in the course of his/her employment are considered to be works made for hire under copyright law, with ownership vested in the employer.† However, any income from such Intellectual Property shall be shared with the Originator, in accordance with Section H.† The above notwithstanding, a faculty memberís or studentís general obligation to produce scholarly and creative works does not constitute a work for hire or a specific College assignment.†

† D.College-Assisted Individual Effort

Ownership of Intellectual Property developed by faculty, staff, and students who make more than purely incidental use of College resources shall be shared by the Originator and the College. †For purposes of this Intellectual Property Policy, the use of the following College resources generally shall not result in shared ownership: all resources available to the public without charge; College-owned/leased office, lab, or studio space or equipment; computer equipment; library resources, including electronic resources; and Internet access.

Use of the following College resources in the production of Intellectual Property generally shall constitute more than purely incidental use, shall be defined as College-Assisted Individual Effort, and shall result in shared ownership of the Intellectual Property under this Section: resources provided by College-funded and Foundation-funded grants, and stipends; College employees (other than faculty) within the employment period; long distance telecommunication services and other cost-added supplies and services; and College facilities other than offices, labs, studios, or library.

†Income, if any, from such Intellectual Property shall be shared as described in Section H.

†E.† Individual Effort

Ownership of Intellectual Property developed by faculty, staff, and students of the College shall reside with the Originator of such Intellectual Property provided that: the Intellectual Property was not developed in accordance with the terms of a sponsored project agreement (see Article IIIB); the Intellectual Property was not developed by faculty, staff, or students as a specific College assignment (see Article IIIC; and there was not significant use of College resources in the creation of such Intellectual Property (see Article IIID).† The Originator of the Intellectual Property shall have the opportunity to demonstrate that this classification applies.

†F.† Other Efforts

Ownership of Intellectual Property developed by faculty, staff, and students of the College under other efforts is determined according to the criteria specified in Article IIIB. through IIIE. above.† Such efforts include, but are not limited to, consulting for outside organizations, collaborating with non-college personnel, or serving on non-college boards, committees, task forces, etc.† Any agreement should include a statement that the faculty member has intellectual property obligations to the College and this Intellectual Property Policy should be attached to the agreement.† In the event that there is any conflict between the College personnelís obligations to this Intellectual Property Policy and their obligations to the entity or collaborative arrangement for which they provide these efforts, the obligations to this Intellectual Property Policy shall control.

†G.† Declined Intellectual Property

Whenever the College chooses not to administer Intellectual Property or chooses to cease administering Intellectual Property, such Intellectual Property, subject to any obligations to a sponsor, may be released to the Originator to dispose of as the Originator sees fit.

†H.† Revenue Sharing with Originators

The proposed division of net revenue is presented below.† Net revenue is defined as gross receipts received by the College from license activity minus contract amounts due sponsors, if any, and the out-of-pocket costs incurred by the College in protecting and licensing the Intellectual Property:


Revenue Distribution


Originator Department

Originator Research Program

Georgia Highlands College Instructional Resource Center

Sponsor Supported





College Assigned





College Assisted





Individual Effort





Other Effort

To be determined on a case-by-case basis

††††† The Originatorís share of net revenue shall be divided (equally) among joint Originators of jointly developed Intellectual Property unless a written statement signed by all joint Originators which provides for a different distribution is filed with the College prior to the first distribution of shared net revenue.

†††††† The percentage for the Originatorís Research Program applies only while the Originator is employed by, and conducting research at the College.† If this is not the case, this share is reallocated to the Georgia Highlands College Instructional Resource Center.†


Georgia Highlands College has developed procedures for the administration of this Intellectual Property Policy.

A.††The President shall appoint an institutional Intellectual Property Committee, consisting of no fewer than three or more than five members, one of whom shall be a representative from the Office of Finance and Administration and at least two representatives from the full-time teaching faculty.† The President will designate one member to serve as chair of the committee.† The committee will meet as often as necessary but at least once a year.† The committee shall act in an advisory capacity to the President or his/her designee.† Faculty, staff and students shall promptly report to the committee in writing, through the appropriate channel, all intellectual property invented or created by them which is reasonably likely to have commercial value.

B.††The Intellectual Property Committee shall recommend to the President or his or her designee the rights and equities in intellectual property created by faculty, staff or students of the institution.

C.†† Georgia Highlands College has elected, through this committee and with the approval of the President, one of the following choices:

1.†† To develop and manage its licensing program through a nonprofit organization established for this purpose; or

2.†† Through an independent assistance organization; or

3.†† To develop and manage independently its own licensing program; or

4.†† To release intellectual property to which Georgia Highlands College has title or an interest to the inventor or creator for management and development as a private venture after the execution of an agreement providing for a suitable division of royalty income.


Georgia Highlands College has adopted the following appeal procedure within the institution in the event of a disagreement as to the ownership and use of such materials.† Institution personnel shall have the right to appeal from decisions of the Intellectual Property Committee.† Appeals shall be made to the President or his or her designee in writing within 10 days of the Committeeís decision.† The College's Grievance Committee should be the appropriate forum for handling such appeals.


In the event of conflict, between this policy and any policy of the Board of Regents, the latter shall prevail.

Approved by the Faculty, May 2, 2000

Page last updated: February 1, 2016