Ownership of Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property is a type of personal property. As with all property, issues of ownership can arise. Misunderstandings, disputes and even litigation can occur if parties involved in the creative process do not clearly understand and delineate who owns what. For that reason, ownership issues should always be addressed up front by all concerned parties and incorporated into a written agreement. Handling these issues at the outset ensures that the expectations of faculty, staff and students and other stakeholders are properly managed along with the needs of the colleges, universities and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

Board Policy 3.26 clarifies the ownership of intellectual property rights between faculty, students, staff and the institutions that comprise the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. The policy divides intellectual property rights into five categories of creative works and identifies four types of potential owners of such works.

Owner of the Creative Work Type of Creative Work
College or University Institutional Works
Faculty Scholarly Works
Staff Professional Works
Student Student Works
Individual Person Personal Works
Ownership may be modified by an agreement or other factors–and individuals may produce more than one type of creative work (scholarly, personal or encoded) dependent upon circumstance.

Important Note: Site visitors may view this tutorial in its entirety if however, the tutorial is designed to allow a specific tutorial “track” to be selected that is based on any of the ownership types. Visitors may review material and examples that are most closely aligned with their role and rights within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.