Tech Transfer Resources
Frequently Asked Questions

Obligations to Disclose

  1. Am I required to report my Inventions and Works to University Technology Transfer?

    Yes. All Inventions and University-Supported Works, including all Regular Instructional Works, but not Traditional Works of Scholarship, must be disclosed, even those believed by the Creator to be unrelated to his or her University duties and not involving the use of University Support. (See Section C.2. Disclosure Obligations" and Section D.2 Making Disclosures".

    If your Invention or Work is the result of grant funding, you may have additional requirements to disclose to the funding source, especially in the case of federal funding. In that case inventions are governed by U.S. Code 35 U.S.C. and copyrights by U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101 - 810.
  2. Am I required to keep a scientific notebook?

    Yes. (See Section C.2. Requirements to Safeguard paragraph 2.)
  3. How can I publish my research and receive a patent?

    By reporting your Invention or Work to Technology Transfer as soon as you conceive of it and before it is published, by using the Disclosure Forms found in Appendix VII and Appendix VIII and the process described in Section D.2. If you have any questions about the Invention or the process, call Technology Transfer at 7-0202. Technology Transfer is a service to assist you in this process.

Understanding Inventions, Works and University Support

  1. What is the difference between an Invention and a Work?

    An Invention includes, but is not limited to a discovery such as a composition of matter, biological material, article of manufacture, technological development and the like. (See Section C.1.d. Definitions .) A Work includes copyrightable material like printable material, computer software, audio and visual material, musical or dramatic compositions and the like. A Work also includes copyrightable material that is used to assist or enhance instruction. (See Section C.1.c. Definitions ).
  2. What is the difference between a Traditional Work of Scholarship and a Regular Instructional Work?

    A Traditional Work of Scholarship is a University Supported Work that disseminates the results of your academic research or scholarly study such as theses, dissertations, books, articles, plays, poems, musical compositions, etc. (See Section C.1.j.)

    A Regular Instructional Work is a University Supported Work used solely for the purpose of assisting or enhancing your instructional assignment and developed without the use of appreciable University Support. (See Section C.1.k.)
  3. What is a University Supported Work?

    A University Supported Work is copyrightable material made using University Support. (See Sections C.1.c., C.1.g. and C.1.i)
  4. What is University Support and appreciable University Support?

    University Support is the use of University funds, personnel, facilities, equipment, materials, or technological information provided by the University or other organizations through the University. (See Section C.1.g.)

    Appreciable University Support is determined by factors such as the creation of a Work using special services, equipment, facilities or technical information beyond what faculty traditionally use in the preparation of course materials and whether the Work was a requirement of employment or assigned instructional duty. (See Section C.1.k.)

Determining Ownership

  1. How does Florida Atlantic University determine ownership of my Invention?
    1. You submit a Works or Invention Disclosure. (See Section D.2.)
    2. Technology Transfer interviews you and reviews the Disclosure form.
    3. Technology Transfer assesses the commercial importance of the Disclosure and the potential for patent or copyright protection. (See Section D.3.)
    4. The University Intellectual Property Advisory Committee (comprised of faculty, administrators and legal counsel) meets to review the Disclosure, hear a presentation from you and review the market and patent research results of Technology Transfer. (See Section D.4.)
    5. The Committee makes a recommendation toTechnology Transfer (See Sections C.3 and C.4) for the University to:
      1. elect to acquire title by assignment from you;
      2. decide the invention is premature and you will be asked to resubmit when additional work is complete
      3. elect to waive the University s rights, allowing you to own the Disclosure
    6. Technology Transfer will present a recommendation to the Vice President for Research for final approval. (See Section D.4.)
    7. You are notified by Technology Transfer of the final determination of your Disclosure within 60 days if it is a Works Disclosure and 120 days it is an Invention Disclosure. (See Section D.4.)
  2. Does Florida Atlantic University own the rights to my Traditional Work of Scholarship or Regular Instructional Work?

    No. (See Sections C.4.a. and b.)
  3. If I am on a nine month contract, does Florida Atlantic University own the rights to any Intellectual Property I may create during the 3 months I am not being paid?

    If the Invention is in the field or discipline in which you are engaged by the University or made with the use of University Support it is the property of the University. (See Section C.2. Ownership Rights .)
  4. When I sign an outside employment consulting contract does Florida Atlantic University own the rights to any Intellectual Property I may create during the term of the consulting contract?

    Great care must be taken during outside consulting work to ensure the activity is not in conflict with the Florida Atlantic University Intellectual Property Policy. If you use University Support during your consulting activity or the invention is the result of any federal sponsorship, permission to waive the rights to you or the employer will not be granted. (See Section C.2. Consulting Activities .) Approval is needed to enter into a consulting agreement that asks you to waive the University s rights to your Intellectual Property. Approval is based on a determination that the University does not posses any rights or the agreement can be modified concerning such rights. To request approval to waive your Intellectual Property rights you must submit a completed Report of Outside Business or Professional Activity (See Appendix V, specifically the question that addresses this matter.) to the Division of Research.
  5. If I create a painting, sculpture or musical composition using University Support does the University have any ownership rights in the Work?

    Not if it is a Traditional Work of Scholarship or Regular Instructional Work. (See Section C.4.)
  6. If I author a book that is published and receives royalties, does Florida Atlantic University own the rights to the book and the royalties?

    Not if it is a Traditional Work of Scholarship or Regular Instructional Work. (See Sections C.4.a. and b.)
  7. If I am on sabbatical, who owns my Intellectual Property?

    If the Invention is in the field or discipline in which you are engaged by the University or made with the use of University Support it is the property of the University. (See Section C.2. Ownership Rights .)
  8. If I use Learning Resources to produce graphics or artwork for my use, who owns the work?

    Learning Resources is supported by Florida Atlantic University, therefore, all work produced by Learning Resources is the property of the University. It is advisable to contact Learning Resources in advance to understand where your work fits into their responsibilities for FAU.
  9. Can I be an owner of a company that licenses my invention from the University?

    Yes. See Section C.6 of the Intellectual Property Policy for guidelines and the Florida Statutes that govern this process. You can contact Technology Transfer for the appropriate paper work. 7-0202
  10. Can I use my lab to start a company to develop and sell my Invention or Works?

    This is possible only with the full approval of the President of the University. For more information contact Technology Transfer. 7-0202
  11. If the University elects to not acquire title to my Invention can I own the Invention, and if so, do I have to pay the University in any way?

    Yes, you can own the invention and unless there is an agreement to the contrary none of the costs incurred by the university or on its behalf will be assessed against the Creator.

Income and Expenses Relating to Intellectual Property

  1. Do I receive any financial compensation if my Invention becomes a commercial product?

    Income received by FAURC, less any Development Costs (See Section C.1.n.), is distributed to the Creator(s) and for the Creator(s ) research use. A portion of the Net Income is also distributed to the Creator(s ) Center, the Creator(s ) Division/Department, and the Creator(s ) College to be used for research at the University. The portion of the Net Income distributed to FAURC is to be used for patent and research activities. For the distribution schedule and details, please See Section C.5. of the Intellectual Property Policy.
  2. Who pays for patent expenses?
    If the University elects to acquire title to the Invention and file a patent or copyright, the University covers all of the expenses. If the University elects to waive its rights and you elect to retain title, then you will be responsible for those expenses if you decide to file for intellectual property protection.

Intellectual Property Terms

  1. What is the Bayh-Dole Act?

    The 1980 Bayh-Dole Act granted universities the ownership of Intellectual Property created as a result of government funding and required that such Intellectual Property be commercialized to transfer the use of the technology to benefit the public. (See Section A, paragraph 4 and Section B. paragraph 1.) Text of the Bayh-Dole Act (35 USC 200-212).
  2. What is Technology Transfer?

    Technology Transfer is a department in the Division of Research with a Director and support staff as necessary. Technology Transfer is responsible for all matters relating to patents, trademarks and copyrights related to the commercialization of the University s Intellectual Property. (See Section D.1.)
  3. What is the Florida Atlantic University Research Corporation (FAURC)?

    Technology transfer is facilitated through FAURC, a Florida Atlantic University direct support, not-for-profit organization, because FAURC can take equity interests in companies that license University technology. (See Sections C.1.m. and C.5 Equity in Lieu of Cash Payments )
  4. What is a CDA or NDA and when do I need to use one?

    CDA is a Confidential Disclosure Agreement or a Confidentiality Agreement and NDA is a Non Disclosure Agreement. These documents protect sensitive information from disclosure to others. They are contracts entered into by two or more parties in which some or all of the parties agree that specific information that passes from one party to the other or that is created by one of the parties will remain confidential for a specific period of time. You can request one of these agreements from FAU Technology Transfer or the FAU Office of the General Counsel when critical information needs to be protected. The CDA or NDA needs to be approved by FAU Legal Counsel and signed by The VP of Research or the Director of Sponsored Programs. A copy of the fully executed agreement must be kept on file in FAU Technology Transfer.
  5. What is an MTA and when do I need to use one?

    MTA is a Material Transfer Agreement is used when you are sending materials from your lab to someone in another lab for their use. This document establishes ownership of the materials and describes any restrictions on the use of the material by the receiving party. This document should be used every time materials leave your lab. The MTA can be requested from FAU Technology Transfer or the FAU Office of the General Counsel. The MTA needs to be approved by FAU Legal Counsel and signed by The VP of Research or the Director of Sponsored Programs. A copy of the MTA must be kept on file in FAU Technology Transfer

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 Last Modified 11/16/12