Patent and Invention Policy

This policy codifies the University's position when its resources and/or facilities support work that lead to discoveries and/or inventions that might be expected to have direct value in the marketplace. It applies to faculty, staff, students, or any person performing research or engaging in work or study utilizing University resources or facilities. Title to discoveries or inventions resulting from research, work, or study that was supported by externally sponsored funds that are administered by the University or resources drawn directly from the University will belong to Wesleyan University. The University makes no claim to discoveries and/or inventions by University employees unrelated to the activities for which the individual is employed or which have not involved the use of University facilities.

A person using Wesleyan facilities who discovers an idea, process, or device that may be patentable will disclose that fact by completing the questionnaire appended below and submitting it to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. The University will evaluate the disclosure, perhaps in collaboration with a commercial research enterprise whose primary focus is to make such evaluation, to determine the likelihood that it will lead to a patent. The University may then decide to file a patent. If it does not, it relinquishes all claim to the invention; if it does, then the University will seek appropriate licensing arrangements to commercialize the invention.

After the recovery of all costs related to the patent process, the net royalties accruing to the University shall be divided equally between the University and the inventor. Royalties accruing to the inventor shall be deemed income, but they arise outside of the normal channel of compensation. As such, they count neither toward regular compensation from the University nor against the limits imposed by the University Policy on Compensation from Extramural Sources. The Office of Academic Affairs shall use the University's 50 percent share exclusively to support University research.

Contractual allocation of any net royalties that might result from work sponsored jointly by the University and any other agent will be negotiated as part of the initial agreement that brings supplementary support from that agent to campus. Equal allocation of net royalties between inventor and the University will then apply to the University's share of this contractual allocation.

The Research Council shall be responsible for administering this policy. The council will, in addition to tending to other tasks that it feels appropriate, monitor research activity across the campus and report any noncompliance with the policy to the vice president for academic affairs. The council will also review the allocation of the University's share of net royalties in support of University research.