R-14, UH Systemwide Administrative Procedures A5.501, Procedures for Copyrights of Work Produced for Hire

March 1985

1. Purpose.

The University Patent and Copyright Policy contains provisions in respect to the ownership of any copyright on materials produced as a result of work for hire. It is essential that all employees of the University and non-employees who have been specifically commissioned by with and comply promptly with the procedural requirements described below.

2. Objective.

The general procedure outlined below should be followed to assure uniformity and responsiveness in the handling of such material.

3. Applicability.

The Policy covers books or other written materials, as well as other original works of authorship in the various forms copyrightable under the copyright laws of the United States and international copyright conventions.

4. Definition.

A work written or produced for hire is defined as:

a. A work commissioned by the University and prepared by an employee who is hired or assigned by the University specifically to produce such work.

b. A work prepared by a person who is not a regular employee of the University but who is specifically commissioned by the University to produce it pursuant to a signed written agreement which provides that the work shall be considered a work for hire.

5. Rights in Works for Hire.

With respect to works for hire, the University shall have exclusive rights, including the copyright, but subject to any contrary terms of the employee’s employment agreement and any restrictions contained in any contract with or grant from an outside sponsor, the Faculty or staff member who prepared or produced the work shall be entitled to receive such proportions, as the PCC in its discretion may determine, of the net royalties (gross receipts less all costs), if any, which may be derived from the sale or licensing of such work. However, such sale or licensing shall be within the sole discretion of the University, which shall be under no obligation to develop royalties therefrom.

6. Procedure.

a. A Faculty or staff member who writes or produces a work which he or she intends to publish or exploit commercially shall notify the PCC in writing through the departmental head or immediate supervisor of such intention, providing appropriate details of the work and the circumstances of its preparation and seeking a determination from the PCC as to whether the work is or is not a work for hire.

b. The departmental head or immediate supervisor to whom the report is submitted shall review it and shall forward it to the PCC within THIRTY (30) days after receipt, together with a written opinion regarding the accuracy of the originator’s statement submitted pursuant to Paragraph (1) and the reasons for such opinion.

c. The originator shall be notified of meetings of the PCC and may attend the meetings at which his report will be considered.

d. The PCC shall within NINETY (90) days of the submission of the report and required statement notify the President of the University, or his designated agent, the originator and the departmental head or immediate supervisor of its decision with respect to the disposition of the matter and the respective rights or equities of any interested parties.

e. The President or his designated agent may overrule in writing the decision of the PCC, but failing such action within THIRTY (30) days of submission of the decision to the President or such agent the decision of the PCC shall be binding on all parties, unless appealed within that time.

f. The originator shall be notified in writing of the final decision of the University.

g. In cases where the University or an outside sponsor has an interest or equity in the work, the author shall execute all such declarations, assignments or other documents as may be necessary in order to assure the title of the University.

7. A guide to Faculty on Inventions and Patents is available in the Office of Research Administration.