1. General policy
    Carleton College will seek patent protection for those ideas and discoveries (Developments) which arise out of the research activities of its faculty and staff where it appears necessary or desirable to do so.
  2. Definitions
    Developments shall mean such products as inventions, discoveries, apparatus, devices, processes, computer hardware, computer software, plants, organisms, genetic material, etc. that arise out of employment activities of a Developer or are related to College Research. Developments do not include matter that is primarily educational, literary, or artistic in nature.

    College Research shall mean, for purposes of this policy, all research conducted in the course of a Developer’s employment with the College (including but not limited to the performance of a grant contract or award made to the College by an extramural agency) or with the use of College resources.

    Developer shall mean any person employed or otherwise compensated by Carleton College, including faculty, visiting faculty and researchers, staff, employees, research and teaching assistants, residents, fellows, and trainees, who produces a Development.

  3. Ownership of Developments
    All patentable Developments conceived or first reduced to practice by faculty and staff in the conduct of College Research shall belong to Carleton College. In cases in which the College either does not file an application within one year, or fails to make a positive determination regarding pursuit of a patent within six months from date of receipt of the disclosure notification, all of the College’s rights shall be reassigned to the Developer upon request, subject only to such external sponsor restrictions as may apply.

    This Policy does not apply to an invention for which no equipment, supplies, facility or trade secret information of Carleton College was used and which was developed entirely on the Developer’s own time, and

    1. which does not relate
      1. directly to the business of Carleton College or
      2. to Carleton College’s actual or demonstrably anticipated research or development, or
    2. which does not result from any work performed by the Developer for Carleton College.
  4. Duties of Developer
    With respect to all Developments, Developer will:
    1. promptly disclose such Developments to the College in writing;
    2. cooperate and assist the College in all phases of the patent application process;
    3. assign to the College all rights, title, or interest to Developments, and to all applications for and patents granted with respect to such Developments;
    4. acknowledge and deliver promptly to the College (at the expense of the College) such written instruments and cooperate as may be necessary in the opinion of the College to preserve property rights to such Developments against forfeiture, abandonment, or loss.
  5. Royalty Distribution
    Total royalty income shall be distributed as follows:
    1. Gross monetary income received by the College from a Development shall first be used by the College to reimburse itself for out-of-pocket expenses associated with the costs of patenting and licensing the Development.
    2. Net income shall be distributed:
      1. to Carleton College
      2. to the Developer(s) in proportions agreeable among the Developers.
  6. Licensing
    Carleton College encourages the application and marketing of Developments resulting from College Research so as to each a public usefulness and benefit. It may, in appropriate circumstances, license an existing patent or Development on n exclusive basis up to the full term of the patent.
  7. Waiver Requests
    Requests for waiver of any provision of this policy shall be submitted in writing to the Dean of the College. The College recognizes that certain sponsors may wish to impose as a condition of the award of contract or grant funds special provisions which are at variance with this Patent Policy. Under such circumstances, the College may deem such proposals as requests for waiver under this paragraph subject to the additional condition that all faculty or staff engaged in research to be supported by the proposed grant or contract containing such provision shall acknowledge and accept those specific provisions.

Last Revised: April 17, 1997

Adopted by the Board of Trustees on April 17, 1997.

For: Staff, Faculty

Last Reviewed: November 7, 2019

Maintained by: Human Resources