Staff Policy D-506.02
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Operations

Intellectual Property Rights

The College shall possess, own, and control exclusively all intellectual property rights under applicable law, including copyrights, trademark rights, licensing rights, and the right to secure patents, in all items, things, inventions, improvements, software, marks, original works of authorship, joint-works, or any other creative works conceived, first reduced to practice, or created by NMC employees within the scope of their employment (including during approved, paid sabbatical if expressly commissioned or directed by the College) or for which employees were hired, directed, or commissioned to create or invent; and all such items, things, inventions, improvements, software, marks, and works shall immediately and automatically be the exclusive property of and be owned and controlled by the College, except as specifically provided herein as follows:

  1. The employee retains an exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable license to publish for pecuniary gain "Traditional Works of Scholarship," which means course lectures (as delivered through any variety of media), written analyses, scholarly research, speeches, study guides, lab manuals, bibliographies, glossaries, syllabi, lesson plans, handouts, assignments, test/quiz questions, and test/quiz answers created within the scope of his/her College employment for all courses except courses that would be considered joint-works between the College and faculty; provided, however, that the College retains a perpetual, non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free license to use such Traditional Works of Scholarship for any educational, public service, or promotional purpose of the College at any time with or without permission. The College will notify the employee in writing that a course or material is considered a joint-work at least 10 business days prior to the start of the course or prior to the expected start of the development of the material, as may be applicable; otherwise, such course or material will not be considered a joint-work for purposes of this provision.

  2. An employee who authors or creates paintings, drawings, digital art, sculptures, cartoons, musical compositions and performance, poetry, dramatic compositions and performance, fiction, and other similar works of artistic expression, retains ownership of such works of artistic expression, unless:  (i) such work is expressly commissioned by the College; (ii) such work is developed, derived, or created using significant College resources that are not made available to the general public (e.g., computers in the public library); or (iii) such work includes the name or insignia of the College as an endorsement, enhancement, or sanction of or for the work.

  3. An employee who creates such Traditional Works of Scholarship shall retain a perpetual, non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free, non-assignable license to use such materials for their personal, non-profit educational and research purposes.

  4. An employee may choose to makeTraditional Works of Scholarship readily accessible by placing them in the public domain, or distributing via open source, Creative Commons, or similar open distribution methods, provided that doing so does not vilate the terms of any existing college agreements.

  5. The College and employee may otherwise mutually agree to the management of all other intellectual property rights and residual rights.

    Each College employee who may be reasonably expected to write, develop, create, generate, or produce Intellectual Property within the scope of his/her employment shall, as a condition of his/her continued employment sign an Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement with the College consistent with this policy.

The Associate Vice President of Human Resources, in conjunction with the appropriate faculty and staff, is responsible for the development and publication of any procedures or guidelines that may be necessary to administer this policy effectively.

If any provision(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provision(s).

Initially adopted as D-1119.02 March 12, 2001
Revised April 21, 2006
Renumbered D-506.02 December 20, 2006
Reviewed without revision December 2011 
Revised October 16, 2020
Revised June 18, 2021