This policy appendix was added to the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities in 2011 to supplement the statement in section 1.5.3 of the Code. The excerpt here applies to students. Students should familiarize themselves with the entire policy which may be found online.
This policy excerpt includes the introduction, Ball State policy statements, and a section on student theses and dissertations.
Persons with questions about this policy should contact the Ball State Sponsored Projects Administration at 765-285-1600.
Part 1. Introduction and selected definitions
1.0 Intellectual Property and Related Rights
The material set forth in this document addresses the ownership, distribution, and commercial development of technology developed by Ball State University (“Ball State”) faculty, staff, and students and others participating in Ball State programs. The term “technology” is broadly defined in this document to include technical innovations, inventions, and discoveries, as well as writings, audiovisual or digital or other creative works, and other information in various forms, including computer software.
The principal rights governing the ownership and disposition of technology are known as “intellectual property” rights, which are derived primarily from federal and state legislation granting patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret and integrated circuit mask work protection.
In some instances, distribution and commercialization of technology may be accomplished by the transfer/assignment or licensing of the intellectual property rights, such as the licensing of patents or copyrights. In other instances, distribution and commercialization of technology may be aided by or depend upon access to the physical or tangible embodiment of the technology, as in the case of biological organisms, plant varieties or computer software through a material transfer arrangement.
Therefore, this policy will define not only the ownership, distribution, and commercialization rights associated with the technology in the form of intellectual property, but will also define policies and procedures which govern use and distribution of the technology in its tangible form.
The following overview of intellectual property rights is limited in scope. The Ball State Technology Transfer Officer (“TTO”) at the Ball State Technology Transfer Office should be contacted for further information regarding any of these rights.
See the full policy.
Part 2. Ball State's Policy Statements
2.0 General Policy Statement
The prompt and open dissemination of the results of Ball State research and the free exchange of information among scholars are essential to the fulfillment of Ball State’s obligations as an institution committed to excellence in education and research. Matters of ownership, distribution, and commercial development, nonetheless, arise in the context of technology transfer, which is an important aspect of Ball State’s commitment to public service. Technology transfer is, however, subordinate to education and research; and the dissemination of information must, therefore, not be delayed beyond the minimal period necessary to define and protect the rights of the parties.
2.1 Intellectual Property Ownership Policy Statement
With the exception of the written content of student theses, dissertations, and research reports as addressed more fully in Section 2.1.5, intellectual property rights in inventions, mask works, trade secrets, tangible research property, and copyright ownership of materials made or created by Ball State faculty, students, staff, and others participating in Ball State programs, including visitors, are as follows:
(a) Patents, copyrights (including copyrights on software), maskworks, trade secrets, and tangible research property and trademarks developed by faculty, students, staff and others, including visitors participating in Ball State programs or using Ball State funds, resources or facilities, are owned by Ball State when either of the following applies:
(1) The intellectual property was developed within the scope of employment and/ or by students as part of the student’s participation and receipt of instruction in any Ball State class, funded project or independent study, internship or practicum under the supervision and direction of a faculty or staff member as outlined in the discussion below regarding Student Ownership and/or in the course of, or pursuant to, a sponsored research agreement with Ball State; or
(2) The intellectual property was developed with significant use of funds, other resources or facilities administered by Ball State, as defined in Section 2.1.2.
(b) Except as set forth herein, all copyrights, including copyrighted software, will be owned by Ball State when it is created as (1) a “work for hire” as defined by copyright law, (see Section 2.1.3), or (2) it is “specially commissioned” by Ball State pursuant to a written agreement whereby Ball State retains copyright ownership, (see Section 2.1.3), or (3) it is created pursuant to a written agreement with Ball State providing for transfer or assignment of copyright or ownership to Ball State.
Inventors/Authors, including students, will own patents/copyrights/other intellectual property when none of the situations defined above for Ball State ownership of intellectual property applies.
Except as set forth herein and in Section 2.1.5, under ordinary circumstances, students who independently develop intellectual property as part of, or arising outside, of their participation in programs of study at Ball State retain ownership rights to that intellectual property unless any of the conditions set forth in this section on Student Ownership and outlined above in Section 2.1(a) or Section 2.1(b) regarding Ball State owned intellectual property are applicable.
In this regard, any student engaging in research or development of intellectual property subject to Ball State ownership under Sections 2.1(a)(2), 2.1(b), or 2.1(a)(1) under a sponsored research agreement or under the supervision and direction of a faculty or staff member in connection with a class, funded project or independent study, internship, practicum or other program or activity subject to this Policy shall have no ownership interest in the resulting intellectual property. By way of illustration, this may include without limitation, patentable processes or inventions, computer aided designs, digital designs, models or fabrications, or student produced films, videos or digital productions. This paragraph is not determinative of appropriate academic credit for authorship of any resulting work product in which students are supervised or directed by Ball State faculty or staff. In instances where the intellectual property may be subject to Ball State ownership, a Disclosure outlined in Part 3 of this Policy shall be made for purposes of determining ownership, cost recovery and royalty distribution.
Where copyright ownership arising out of the student’s participation in programs of study at Ball State is retained by the student in intellectual property, however, the student shall grant to Ball State a royalty-free perpetual non-exclusive license and consent to reproduce, use and publicly distribute the intellectual property for the following limited purposes of Ball State: (1) institutional promotion and marketing; (2) educational and instructional; and (3) entries into appropriate competitions.
See the full policy.
2.1.5 Student Theses and Dissertations
Students will own copyright in theses and dissertations, however, where significant use is made of Ball State equipment or facilities provided to Ball State without copyright or other related restrictions, students own copyright in theses or dissertations, but any software code, patentable subject matter and/or any other intellectual property contained in, or produced as part of, the theses or dissertations remain subject to Ball State ownership pursuant to Section 2.1.2 above.
Moreover, where copyright ownership is retained by the student in the theses, dissertations and/or research reports, the student shall grant to Ball State a perpetual royalty-free, non-exclusive limited license and consent to reproduce, use and publicly distribute the thesis, dissertation and/or research report for the following limited purposes of Ball State: (1) institutional promotion and marketing; (2) educational and instructional; and (3) entries into appropriate competitions.
See the full policy.