Intellectual Property refers to the creation of literary and artistic works, inventions, designs, symbols, names, images, computer codes, etc. while commercialization is the process of introducing products or intellectual properties into commerce . An intellectual property adds a mechanism for universities to disseminate the knowledge that they generate and to have that knowledge used in the economic sector. There are and there will be several ICT-related intellectual properties created and owned by the University and its staff members. Hence, there is a need to have a policy that provides structure and a beneficial environment in which enterprises and researchers can access and share knowledge, technology, and intellectual properties. The policy ensures that the value of knowledge and technology generated in the University of Gondar is maximized and protected.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all ICT-related intellectual properties are protected in law by patents, copyright, and trademarks so as to recognize people, their effort, and their financial benefits through commercialization. This will help to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish within the University.
This policy covers all the University’s ICT-related intellectual properties within all the teaching-learning, research, and administration units of the University.
Ownership of intellectual property:
- ICT-related intellectual property (e.g., softwares, software source codes, and hardwares) made by any person, regardless of employment status, with the direct or indirect support of funds administered by the University (regardless of the source of such funds) shall be the property of the University, except in cases where the owner is specified in written agreements reached before the intellectual property is created;
- It is the obligation of the University’s staff engaged in consulting and other activities with outside entities to ensure that their activities and agreements with third parties are not in conflict with this Policy;
- The University generally shall retain ownership of ICT-related intellectual property produced by its staffs while participating in sabbaticals or other external activities if they receive a salary from the University for such activity. Exceptions to this rule may be approved by the Vice President for Research and Community Services;
- In order to promote/encourage the creation of intellectual properties, the University shall not claim ownership of ICT-related intellectual property created by students. However, the University shall claim ownership of intellectual property created by students who are employees of the University;
- The University shall own ICT-related intellectual property made by a former University staff if the intellectual property was made both 1) with substantial University faculty guidance or University resources, and (2) during activity directly relating to and closely following employment.
- University staffs who believe that they have created intellectual property not owned by the University shall not commercialize such property without providing notice and a written summary of the intellectual property to the Technology Transfer Office of the University;
- In consultation with the inventors, the Technology Transfer Office of the University shall have the sole authority for decisions regarding the mechanism of commercializing or transferring a particular intellectual property to commercialization;
- ICT-related intellectual property, including models, devices, designs, computer programs, and other softwares that comprise the University’s intellectual property may be distributed outside of the University consistent with applicable laws, policies, and existing license agreements;
- Revenues generated by the Intellectual Property owned by the University provide a strong incentive for the University’s staff participation in technology invention and support investment in research and technology transfer activities. The University shall share revenues received from commercialization efforts with all the University’s staffs involved as follows:
- 50% to the involved University staff,
- 25% to the involved staffs’ department, and
- 25% to the University’s administration.
- Where there are multiple intellectual property creators involved the share shall be distributed among the creators in the same proportions based on their contribution;
- The Vice Preseident for Research and Community Service shall administer rules for determining the involved University staffs’ share of revenues within the parameters specified above in this Policy;
- The Technology Transfer Office shall reasonably attempt to seek commercialization mechanisms for all intellectual properties. However, upon request by one or more intellectual property creators, the University may elect to assign or license its Intellectual iroperty rights back to one or more intellectual property creators when commercialization mechanisms are not effective or available;
- The Technology Transfer Office shall not market, protect, and license the intellectual property where rights have been granted back to intellectual property creators.