Ownership of Intellectual Property IP

Who owns the Copyrights, Patents and Trademarks to inventions and IP (e.g., software, copyrighted materials) at UNO?

Patents: As a condition of UNO employment, all U.S. patent applications are filed in the name of the inventor(s), but assigned by the inventors to UNO. 

Copyright: Generally speaking the author owns the copyright for books, articles, lectures, and other literary/scholarly works, unless done under a grant/contract or with significant use of UNO resources. UNO owns  copyrights to other works, including software.

How is an invention from Federally, State and Privately Sponsored Research handled?

Federal Sponsor

Title to inventions resulting from federally sponsored research belongs to UNO. When a patent on such an invention is issued to UNO, the U.S. Government has a royalty-free license to use the invention for it uses. Any such inventions or invention disclosures must be reported to the federal government through their iEdison reporting system database.

State of Louisiana Sponsor

UNO owns such inventions outright.

Private Sponsor

The details depend on the particular research contract. In general, UNO will retain title to intellectual property rights (e.g. inventions), but may grant the sponsor the first opportunity to license the technology under commercially reasonable terms to be negotiated.

A potential private sponsor maintains that since they are paying for the research, all intellectual property should belong to them?

The private sponsor generally is paying for a specified deliverable (e.g., a report on the research; possible a piece of software; testing results).  These may belong to them or have a shared ownership with UNO depending on the contract terms.  No private/industry research contract with UNO or any other university for that matter specifies an invention as an expected outcome or deliverable.  Thus any inventions developed solely by UNO researcher belong to UNO.  However, UNO generally offers to the private/industry sponsor of the research in the contract access to any invention(s) by giving them an option to license the invention(s) for their use.

If you feel uncomfortable addressing this, get OTMC involved to discuss it with the company or other entity.