Intellectual Property at CMU

This page offers a summary of the Central Michigan University intellectual property ownership rights. This page is intended to provide a quick reference to the key points of CMU’s intellectual property policy. If you need more detailed information or need an answer about a specific situation, you can find the full text of the policy here.

Owned by Creator:

  1. Created by employee outside the scope of CMU employment and without using CMU support or resources;
  2. Books, journal articles, and other research materials created by faculty within the scope of employment and not as part of a “works for hire” agreement with the university;
  3. Multimedia works created as part of CMU employment, provided that the creation did not rely upon university resources and services above and beyond what one utilizes in the course of one’s usual employment (i.e. “substantial support”);
  4. Online courses created as part of CMU employment, provided that the creation did not rely upon university resources and services above and beyond what one utilizes in the course of one’s usual employment (i.e. “substantial support”).

Owned by CMU:

  1. Anything created with “substantial support” of university resources and services;
  2. Anything created under a “work for hire” agreement with the university;
  3. Anything created by staff within the scope of employment;
  4. In the event that intellectual property rights are offered to the university and the university accepts them;
  5. Rights to inventions, software, and other patentable products;
  6. Master course syllabi submitted through the curricular process;
  7. Materials created as part of a larger work already owned by the university;
  8. Course materials developed at the request of the university and designed to specifically benefit the teaching activities of more than the individual who developed the material.

As CMU moves into offering more online courses, it bears pointing out that this form of instruction has its own intellectual property issues. Below are some key points related to online courses.

  1. Central Michigan University retains all rights related to what are referred to as Base Line Materials. These include such things as the course syllabus, description, objectives, bibliography, and outline. Also, such evaluation methods as assignment descriptions, grading rubrics, and departmentally developed assessment materials.
  2. The Course Developer retains all rights to all Course Materials and Individualized Multimedia Components. Course Materials include all introductory material, instructional materials, online assignments, interactive components, discussion questions, group projects, quizzes, exams, and post-production adjustments/modifications. Individualized Multimedia Components include video and audio presentations, live web chats, and podcasts or other downloadable class content.
  3. While the Course Developer retains all intellectual property rights and copyright to the Course Materials and Individualized Multimedia Components, CMU reserves the right to use the material for any educational purpose for a period of up to five (5) years.
  4. The Course Developer grants the right to all future departmentally approved course instructors the right to make determinations about component selection, arrangement, the inclusion of additional materials, and compilation for the developed course.

If you have questions about ownership rights related to online courses or need further clarification, please contact Mary Roy in the Office of General Counsel at (989) 774-3971.