Intellectual Property Policy

Purpose and Scope: To define the rights and responsibilities of Lewis & Clark College, and its employees, students, and other persons using College facilities or acting under contract with the College, each to the other, with regard to intellectual property rights. Further, to establish the rules under which intellectual property rights may be exploited by each, and to determine the distribution of income derived from such intellectual property.

Ownership of Intellectual Property

Lewis & Clark College owns all intellectual property created by its employees within the scope of their employment, by persons acting under contract with the College, and by students and other persons using College facilities for research and study, including sole right to negotiate sales and licenses relating to said intellectual property, except as specifically exempted under this policy. The College’s ownership of intellectual property may be affected by individual agreements between the College and outside funding sources.

In addition to any College rights stated elsewhere in this policy, the College reserves the right at any time to transfer or abandon its intellectual property rights under this policy. Any such transfer or abandonment must be in writing and signed by the president. The College also reserves the right at any time to cease its financial support for the developing, protecting, or commercializing of any of its intellectual property.

The College does not claim ownership of intellectual property created by a registered student without the use of College funds (other than Student Financial Aid) that is created outside any College employment, and is not a sponsored, contracted or commissioned work.

The College does not claim ownership of the intellectual property embodied in the following works produced by employees, even if created within the scope of that employee’s employment: books, articles, poems, paintings, sculptures, films, and musical compositions. Not included in this exemption are works that are:

  • Published in the name of the trustees of the College. A non-exhaustive list of such works includes journals, yearbooks, anthologies, compendia and films.
  • Specifically or specially commissioned by the College, provided that if such specifically or specially commissioned work otherwise falls within the exceptions listed above, or is a work that is completed by an employee and is of the type of work that is within the normal scope of such employee’s employment, the College’s ownership in the intellectual property embodied in such work must be specified in writing at the time the work is commissioned.

Distribution of Income on the College’s Intellectual Property

Royalty income will be distributed to Creators on a quarterly basis and will be based on Royalty Receipts recorded during the previous quarter.

As a first claim on all royalty income, the College will recover in full any Expenses. The remaining royalty income (Net Royalties) will be distributed as follows: the Creator will receive 50% of the first $100,000 of Net Royalties and 25% of all Net Royalties beyond the first $100,000. The balance of all Net Royalties go to the College, and will be divided evenly between the College as a whole and the school in which the Creator holds his or her appointment.


The Creator is to provide written notice to the Secretary of the College and the CAS Director of Sponsored Research when the Creator’s work produces intellectual property that is not exempt from this policy. Further, the Creator shall notify the Secretary of the College when s(he) is engaged in work that might result in claims of ownership by sponsors so that individual agreements can be developed to clarify ownership and public disclosure of the intellectual property.

The College shall have sixty days to respond to the Creator during which time the Creator will keep details of the intellectual property confidential so that the College may decide whether to file an application for protection of the intellectual property. During this same time period the Creator may request that the College refrain from authorization or further development of the intellectual property for reasons related to potential harm to public health or safety. This sixty day period may be extended by sixty days upon written notice from the College to the Creator. If the College fails to respond in timely manner regarding its intention to seek intellectual property protection, the College forfeits all claim of rights to the intellectual property.

The College will receive all royalty payments and make the payments set forth in this policy. The College will report to the Internal Revenue Service all royalty income payments to Creators.


Employee: Any compensated individual who performs tasks and assumes responsibilities at the direction of the College and who uses College resources, materials, and/or technology to accomplish these tasks.

Creator: One or more employees, students, or persons using College facilities or acting under contract with the College, who, acting individually or in concert, create intellectual property that is subject to this policy.

Expenses: Expenses are those costs, losses, and expenses incurred to develop, protect, register, maintain or commercialize the intellectual property. Expenses also include the costs to register or maintain a patent or copyright of an invention or work product, including legal fees, application fees, and costs associated therewith.

Royalty Receipts: Payments received by the College from the licensing, use, distribution, or sale of intellectual property subject to this policy.

Net Royalties: Net Royalties are the remainder of royalty receipts after deducting the College’s expenses. 

Approval Date

Approved by the Executive Council, May 31, 2002; Revised September 20, 2017