Intellectual Property Issues

Copyright ownership and the rights associated with creating intellectual properties are governed by federal law. Copyrightable materials (such as books, manuscripts, photographs, artistic works, musical recordings, movies, television programs, software, etc.) are generally the property of the Author, absent specific written agreement. The University's copyright policy is set forth in the Collected Rules and Regulations and governs the rights of the University, its faculty, staff, and other employees, by establishing policies governing the ownership, use, and rights to income of copyrightable materials.

When using third parties (independent contractors) to create or assist in the creation of intellectual properties, it is critical that you have a written agreement including an assignment of copyright ("work for hire" language) to ensure you have full rights to use the resulting work. The University's consulting form (link to form) is commonly used for this purpose and has the appropriate work for hire language to protect your rights. If you have questions regarding this subject, we are here to help.

The University is often asked to grant permission to use copyrighted materials owned by the University. Such permissions should be documented in writing. We encourage you to contact our office for assistance in handling such requests.

Special Issues Relating to Using Image, Likeness, Voice and/or Interview or Biographical Material of Individuals

In addition to the intellectual property rights held by the photographer who records the image, the individual whose image has been recorded may have privacy rights which need to be released in order to ensure you have full rights to use the images. A written release should be obtained. Please contact our office for assistance.


The Office of Technology Management and Industry Relations handles all patent-related activities.


Lisa Wimmenauer
Associate Director