Georgetown College encourages the production of creative and scholarly research, works, and inventions, known broadly as Intellectual Property, among faculty, staff and students. The products of this scholarship may create rights and interests on behalf of the creator, author, inventor, sponsor and the College, as well as the general public.


The purpose of this policy is to promote, support and reward creativity, research, and scholarship; to promote the progress of science and useful arts; to encourage the discovery of new knowledge and its dissemination to students, to the profession, and to the public; and to help faculty, staff and students identify, protect and administer intellectual property matters and define the rights and responsibilities of all involved. The College reserves the right to allow some flexibility in applying this policy on a case-by-case basis. In such cases, ownership and use of materials developed pursuant to a special agreement between the College and the creator/author will be governed by the principles of that agreement.

Because the roles of faculty employees and non-faculty employees are different with regard to expectations to scholarly work and because academic tradition favors faculty retention of Intellectual Property created, the rights of faculty employees and non-faculty employees are somewhat different under this policy.


Executive Cabinet, Human Resources and All Affected Managers


  • “Authors” are any persons who create intellectual property using College resources.
  • “Georgetown College” and “College” refer to Georgetown College.
  • “IP” means Intellectual Property
  • “IPC” means the Intellectual Property Council and consists of the Provost, Vice            President / Chief Financial Officer,  the Legal Counsel of the College, and three Faculty Representatives (Chair of the Faculty, Chair of the Faculty Committee, and Chair of the Faculty Development Committee)
  • “On-line instruction” means instruction that is distributed to students primarily through the internet.
  • “On-line instructional materials” are traditional works, including courseware, that are created and distributed in connection with on-line instruction or to supplement traditional instructional materials.
  • “Ownership” gives the College the right to use works for development and enhancement of the College’s academic stature and or to pursue a patent, royalties, or revenue when aligned with the Intellectual Property policy.  Ownership gives the author the right to use works at the College and beyond the College as long as procedures of the Intellectual Property policy are followed.
  • “President” means the President of Georgetown College or his or her designee.
  • “Patentable Intellectual Property” describes inventions, discoveries, and

manufacturing designs that have been reduced to practice, and are novel, useful, and non-obvious, and therefore likely to be subject to protection under United States patent law.


Ownership and Use

Work Made for Hire Under federal copyright law, a “work made for hire” is one “prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment.” Basically, for non-faculty employees (including students working for the College, in work-study or otherwise), any work produced in the performance of one’s duties for the College, whether or not specifically directed to do so, will be considered a “work made for hire” and, thus, will be deemed owned and authored by the College. An exception may be made if the works are the subject of a specific, written agreement with the College and the author. Works produced by faculty will not be deemed “works made for hire” unless they are produced under a specific contract with the College for the production of that particular work. Works produced by students as part of a class, or in any other capacity, except that of working for the College will not be deemed “works made for hire”, unless they are produced under a specific contract with the College for the production of that particular work.

Intellectual Property

It is the general policy of the College that IP shall be the property of the author. The College may assert ownership rights to IP developed under circumstances set forth further below.

For purposes of this policy, creations are divided into two groups:

  1. The traditional results of academic scholarship, i.e. textbooks, literary works, artistic creations and artifacts.  Additionally, the creation of on-line and traditional instruction materials that supplement the instruction of a specific class.  This group includes students’ creations for classes and from their independent research activities using college facilities.
  2. The novel results of research or work such as products, processes, machines, software, biological technology, patentable and non-patentable intellectual property as well as the creation of on-line and traditional instruction materials commissioned by the College for general instructional use. Intellectual properties in the first (traditional) group are considered to make their full contribution to the college’s benefit by their creation and by continued use by the college in teaching, further development, and enhancement of the college’s academic stature; the presumption of ownership is to the author(s). Thus, unless there is explicit evidence that the work was specifically commissioned by the college, the IP rights remain with the author(s) and the college rights are limited to free (no cost) use  of work developed for classroom use for  internal instructional, educational, or administrative purposes. in perpetuity

In the second group, ownership is shared by the author and the College (with the author having a right to share in the benefits derived wherefrom). When the work is made for hire, the College and author shall share in royalties as set forth below.

Responsibility for Disclosure of Patentable or Non-Patentable Intellectual Property: College employees or students, who alone or in association with other entities create or intend to create patentable or non-patentable subject matter that follows from College funding purposefully directed toward that creation or from the significant use of resources such as College facilities or equipment must disclose the matter and obtain authorization as soon as is feasible from the Provost’s Office. Such disclosure shall be made when it can be reasonably concluded that a subject matter has been or will be created, and sufficiently in advance of any publication, presentation, or other public disclosure to allow time for possible action that protects rights to the Intellectual Property for the author and the College. Authors are encouraged to seek the advice of the Provost in determining whether the subject matter is patentable or whether the College desires to pursue patenting the matter.

Retention of Rights All College employees are expected to assign a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use any IP created by them to the College for its use in furtherance of its academic mission (e.g., in the classroom, at lectures, in promotional materials, etc.), except where the author assigns rights to the IP to a third party, such as a publisher. Student work for classes is exempt from this expectation, but other student work using college facilities is not.

Royalties and Revenue Sharing

Revenues generated by the successful commercialization of IPs owned by the college (whether or not protected by patent and / or copyright) shall be shared between the college and the author(s) subject to the conditions and exceptions outlined below.

  • Net income is defined as gross royalties, license fees, or other such payments received by Georgetown College on behalf of the author and the College, less necessary deductible costs, e.g., mailing or courier costs, interferences, licensing costs, patent enforcement, necessary travel, auditing fees, or sponsor shares. The phrase “gross royalties, license fees, or other such payments” means agreed upon payments specified in a license or other commercialization agreement usually expressed as a percentage of sales or a fixed dollar amount per unit manufactured in return for the right to use, copy, reproduced, make, or sell an item of intellectual property or product based on such property. Georgetown College shall reserve the right to suspend distribution of income where there is reason to believe that substantial deductible costs will be incurred in the future. The author shall be informed of such decisions. An annual detailed accounting of income and costs shall be made available to the author by Georgetown College.
  • Except as otherwise provided, net calendar year royalty or license income derived from commercialization of intellectual property covered by this policy shall be shared as follows: 40% to the author, 20% to the author’s department or immediate administrative unit, 20% to the Office of the Provost, and 20% to Georgetown College.
  • The department’s share shall be retained in a separate account in Georgetown College and shall be available for expenditure by the department in accord with a budget to be approved by the Vice President / Chief Financial Officer for the college. Such funds may be allowed to build across fiscal years to reach amounts necessary for major purchases or other nonrecurring purposes. Such funds may be invested, and the income shall be credited to the account in accord with existing policy regarding investment of restricted funds.
  • The author’s rights to share in net income as stated above (but not including the department’s share) shall remain with the individual or pass to the individual’s heirs and assigns for so long as net income is derived from the property.
  • Where more than one individual is considered to be the author, such persons will determine among themselves the individual share each will receive. In the event that they cannot reach such agreement, the determination shall be made by the IPC after giving each individual an opportunity to present a personal position. Such determination by the IPC shall be final.
  • This policy shall not change income-sharing agreements entered into prior to the adoption of this policy.

Consulting Agreements

Any faculty or staff member engaged in consulting work or in business is responsible for ensuring that clauses in the individual’s agreements are not in conflict with this policy, nor with the College’s commitments; and that the institution’s rights and the individual’s obligations to the College are in no way abrogated or limited by the terms of such agreements. The President or the College’s Legal Counsel’s Office can provide assistance in this regard.

Faculty and staff members shall make clear to those with whom they make such agreements their obligations to the College and shall ensure that other parties to the agreement are provided with a current copy of this policy.

Resolution of Disputes / Right of Appeals

The author(s) of an IP covered by this Policy shall have the right to appeal application of the policy to the IPC.

The IPC will formulate recommendations relative to each such appeal, and will forward both the appeal and its recommendations to the President in a timely manner. The President will determine the college’s response to each appeal, and will so notify the author(s) and the IPC.

If the author (s) disagree with the IPC recommendation regarding ownership, a written appeal to the President must be filed within (30) thirty days of receipt of notification of the IPC recommendation. This appeal should contain an exposition of the facts as seen by the author (s), any information they deem pertinent to the case, as well as any applicable citations of policy guidelines. A copy of the appeal document should be sent to the IPC.

Upon receipt of the appeal, the President may elect to consult with any and all concerned prior to reaching a decision in the case.

In the event that any member of the college (faculty, staff or student) perceives and/or becomes aware of any irregularity in the inventorship / authorship of an IP disclosed (or about to be disclosed) to the IPC, he/she should bring it to the attention of the other inventors / authors involved and / or the Department Chair(s) concerned in an attempt to resolve the conflict equitably and amicably. Failing such resolution, the facts of the cases should be submitted in writing within (30) thirty days to the Provost with a request for review by the IPC.

Upon receipt of such a request, the IPC shall review the facts of the case, convene a hearing for all concerned parties, reach a conclusion and present a synopsis of the case and a recommendation to the President.

Use of Georgetown College Name / Logos / Marks

Faculty, staff, and students may use Georgetown College’s name, logos, and marks to identify themselves (John Doe, Professor of Physics, Georgetown College). Georgetown College’s name, logos, and marks shall not be used by individuals or entities in a manner that implies College endorsement or responsibility for particular activities, products, or publications for commercial purposes, or by any individual or group promoting itself, without the express written permission of the Director of Communications and Marketing.

Acknowledgement: This policy borrows extensively from or is inspired by the Intellectual Property policies of Carnegie Mellon University, Centre College, Indiana University, the University of Kentucky, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, the AAUP Suggestions and Guidelines for Institutional Policies [on Intellectual Property] and Contract Language, and policies from other, similar institutions.