Patents and Inventions

§ 1. Patents and Inventions Policy

(b) All inventions made by faculty members, employees, students, and all others utilizing University facilities at any of the State-operated institutions of State University shall belong to State University and should be voluntarily disclosed or shall be disclosed to State University upon request of the University. The inventor or inventors shall make application for patents thereon as directed by State University and shall assign such applications or any patents resulting there from to or as directed by State University. [The inventor works with the Research Foundation for SUNY, which submits the patent application.] However, non-university organizations and individuals who utilize University research facilities under the Trustees’ policy on cooperative use of research equipment, or policy and guidelines on use of State University facilities by emerging technology enterprises, will retain ownership of all patentable inventions.

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Also, an invention made by an individual wholly on such individual’s own time and without the use of such University facilities shall belong to the individual even though it falls within the field of competence relating to the individual’s University position. For purposes of this provision, an individual’s “own time” shall mean time other than that devoted to normal and assigned functions in teaching, University service, direction and conduct of research on University premises and utilizing University facilities. The term ”University facilities” shall mean any facility available to the inventor as a direct result of the inventor’s affiliation with State University, or any facility available under the Trustees’ policy on cooperative use of research equipment, or policy on use of facilities by emerging technology enterprises, and which would not otherwise be available to a non-State University affiliated individual. Where any question is raised as to ownership of an invention or patent under these provisions, the matter shall be referred to a committee of five members to be named by the Chancellor of State University. At least three of such members shall be members of the academic staff of the University. Such committee shall make a careful investigation of the circumstances under which the invention was made and shall transmit its findings and conclusions to the Chancellor for review. If the committee determines that the invention has been made without the use of the University facilities and not in the course of the inventor’s employment by or for the University and the Chancellor concurs in such determination, the University will assert no claim to the invention or to any patent obtained thereon.

(Article XI, Title J, Section 1(b), Policies of the Board of Trustees)

For more information, please refer to the full Article XI, Title J, Section 1, in the Policies of the Board of Trustees.

Proposed revision of the SUNY Patents and Inventions Policy (UUP advisory, 8/18/16)


§ 2. Copyright Policy

Generally the members of the staff of the University shall retain all rights to copyright and publish written works produced by them. However, in cases where persons are employed or directed within the scope of their employment to produce specific work subject to copyright, the University shall have the right to publish such work without copyright or to copyright it in its own name. The copyright will also be subject to any contractual arrangements by the University for work in the course of which the writing was done. Staff members will be expected not to allow the privilege to write and retain the right to their work to interfere with their University duties. In those cases where an author desires the help of University facilities, arrangements should be made through the administrative staff of the author’s institution in advance with respect to the assistance, which may be appropriately given and the equity of the University in the finished work.

(Article XI, Title J, Section 2, Policies of the Board of Trustees)

Copyright and Intellectual Property: Your Rights as a SUNY Employee (UUP advisory, 11/28/16)

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