Computer Software Policy
The use of computers within the State University of New York may result in the creation of computer software. Computer software can be either copyrighted or patented, depending on the particular circumstances, and can often be licensed for commercial use. This policy covers the various aspects of ownership, administration, and promotion of such computer software.
- Disclosure: Computer software and software support materials shall be disclosed promptly to the Research Foundation (Technology Transfer Office). All concerned shall cooperate to ensure copyright protection is secured when needed.
Ownership: Title to computer software and software support materials developed by employees and students of the State University of New York (SUNY) or employees of the Research Foundation (RF) shall belong solely to SUNY or the RF unless all of the following conditions exist, then it belongs to the creator:
- The work was not created within the scope of employment of the creator.
- The work created was not the result of a work-for-hire situation.
- The work created was not a product or byproduct of sponsor-funded or contracted activity.
- The work was not developed through the use of facilities, funds, or personnel of SUNY or the RF or under the control of SUNY or the RF.
- Royalties: Where software is created within the scope of employment or is the result of a work-for-hire situation, the RF shall retain all royalties generated by commercialization for distribution in accordance with the policies of SUNY and the RF. If the work was developed through the use of SUNY or RF facilities, funds, or personnel, or resulted from sponsor-funded or contracted activities, the creator shall receive 40 percent of all gross royalties received for products or services that embody the creator’s work, unless the payment exceeds the limits fixed by applicable regulations of the relevant sponsoring agency, which will control in such cases.
- Exception or Waiver: In all cases, the creator of software is entitled to request a waiver or exception to the provisions of this computer software policy. This waiver or exception will be reviewed by the appropriate Patent Policy Board of SUNY, which will make a recommendation on the request to the chancellor.
— SUNY Policy, January 16, 1998