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Intellectual Property

The University patent and copyright policies appear in section 3.7.5 and 3.7.6 of the Faculty Handbook. This website provides necessary forms and agreements related to patents and inventions.  For more information, contact (408) 554-4408.

Authors Rights

Santa Clara is committed to academic freedom and supports efforts to ensure broad, public access to scholarly work.  To this end, SCU has prepared an Author's Addendum that can be submitted to a publisher when an article, book review, research report or other scholarly work is submitted for publication.  If you have questions regarding this agreement, please contact the Associate Provost for Research. The SCU Author’s Addendum has been adapted from materials prepared by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition and the University of Michigan author's rights documents.

When submitting a manuscript for publication, authors can request to retain rights that allow for the published work to be more publicly available.  Resources on Authors rights are available below:

Author's Addendum

SCU Publication Agreement - Use the form to grant SCU the non-exclusive right to publish, reproduce and disseminate your work.

 Scholarly Communications (Library resources)

 Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

Brief Invention Disclosure Process

Faculty who have a potentially patentable discovery or invention should first review the University policy.  The faculty member should then complete an Invention and Technology Disclosure Form and submit the form to: The University has an agreement with TreMonti Consulting. The Associate Vice Provost will work with the faculty member and TreMonti to initiate the patent review process. If the discovery or invention is determined to meet the criteria for pursuing a patent, the Associate Provost will work with the faculty member to pursue a patent.  Title, fees and royalties will be handled as described in the University patent policy.  For more details, please see: Patent and Inventions Policy and Procedures


Invention and Patent Policy

See FAQs here.


Santa Clara University is committed to supporting the development of new technologies.  Faculty Handbook section 3.7.5 describes the University policy on patents including the distribution of royalties.  The purpose of this policy is to clearly establish title of inventions and patents.


The patent policy of the University applies to all potentially patentable discoveries or inventions conceived or first reduced to practice by anyone using University funds, material, or facilities.



The University patent policy can be found in the Faculty Handbook, section 3.7.5.


Enforcement and Noncompliance

The Associate Vice Provost for Research is responsible for enforcement of the policy.  Examples of noncompliance with this policy include, but are not limited to, failure to submit a disclosure form, intentionally filing an incomplete, erroneous, or misleading disclosure form, or failing to provide any additional information requested by the Associate Vice Provost for Research. Failure to comply with this policy will result in the notification of the sponsor as appropriate.  In addition, noncompliance may result in disciplinary action consistent with and subject to sections of the Staff Policy Manual and the Faculty Handbook that are applicable to the employment of the faculty or staff member. In particular, noncompliance is subject to the Policy on Misconduct in Research (Faculty Handbook, Appendix H).


Invention means any new or significantly improved technology, material, design, device, discovery, composition, trade secret, process, method and/or technique that is conceived and reduced to practice.

Research means a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to knowledge. The term encompasses basic and applied research and product development.

Sponsored Project is defined in the Faculty Handbook as any externally funded activity which is subject to an agreement that is binding on the University and that includes any of the following conditions:

  1.  it commits the University to a specific plan of research or scholarly inquiry;
  2. it makes a specific commitment regarding the level of personnel effort, items of output, or achievement of specific performance targets;
  3. it requires both adherence to a line item budget and either a detailed fiscal report or an external audit of the project;
  4. it requires that any unexpended funds be returned to the sponsor at the end of the project period; or
  5. it provides for the disposition of either tangible property (e.g., equipment, records, or technical reports) or intangible property (e.g., patents or copyrights) that may result from the activity.

Copyright Policy and Ownership

The University Policy on Copyrights appears section 3.7.6 of the Faculty Handbook and is listed below.

General Description

Copyright is a form of protection provided by federal law to the owners of "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated,
either directly or with the aid of a machine or device."

Copyright protection does not extend to an idea or concept. It extends only to the work in which it is embodied.

Subject to various exceptions and limitations, a copyright owner has the exclusive right to reproduce the work, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, and display or perform the work publicly. It is illegal to violate any of the rights provided by law to the owner of copyright.


Fair Use of Copyrighted Works

Making copies of copyrighted materials is permitted only when written permission is obtained from the copyright holder or the copying falls within the doctrine of “fair use,” which allows for the limited use of copyrighted materials for personal use or educational purposes without prior permission.

The University interprets fair use in accordance with the guidelines presented in the American Library Association’s “Model Policy Concerning College and University Photocopying for Classroom, Research, and Library Reserve Use,” which is reprinted in
Appendix G of the Faculty Handbook.

Software Copying

No University employee or student shall make or use illegal copies or adaptations of computer software.

Purchasers of copyrighted computer software may make archival copies to back up the software and protect their investment from loss. The generally accepted rule of thumb is that the software may be used by any number of people and may be moved from one location to another so long as there is no possibility that it will be used by two different people in two different places at the same time.

All license agreements for software acquired by the University shall be signed by the Chief Information Officer or his delegate. All reasonable precautions shall be taken to secure software from illegal copying or theft. All software acquired by the University shall meet one or more of the following conditions:

  1. It is in the public domain.
  2. The Chief Information Officer or his delegate has signed a proper licensing agreement for it.
  3. It has been donated to the University and a bona fide written record of contribution exists.
  4. It has been purchased by the University and a bona fide record of purchase exists.
  5. It has been purchased by a user and a bona fide record of purchase exists which can be produced by the user upon demand.
  6. It is being reviewed or demonstrated by users in order to reach a decision about future purchase, request for contribution, or licensing.
  7. It has been written or developed by the University for use in University equipment.

Violations of this policy may result in loss of computer privileges and in other disciplinary action.


Copyright Ownership

When a University employee is the creator of a copyrightable work, all rights in copyright shall remain with the creator except in the following circumstances:

  1. The work is a work-for-hire by the University. A work-for-hire is defined as a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment. Works of scholarship and works prepared for classroom use shall not be included in this category. The University shall own all rights in a work-for-hire unless the Provost or cognizant Vice President has relinquished them in writing.
  2. The work has been commissioned by the University. The University shall own all rights in a work it has commissioned provided that the parties so agree in writing.
  3. The work has been developed in the course of or pursuant to a sponsored project or other agreement between the University and a third party. The terms of the applicable third-party agreement shall govern the disposition of rights in copyright.
  4. The work is covered by other terms specified in a written agreement between the author and the University. In cases where the work has been developed with monetary support from the University but is not covered by points 1 through 3 above, the University may require a written agreement specifying the disposition of rights in copyright.

A copyright notice is necessary to protect the rights of the owner. The following notice should be placed on copyrightable materials if they are owned by the University under this policy:

Copyright (or (c)) (year) The President and Board of Trustees of Santa Clara College

Owners of computer software developed through the use of University resources shall grant the University a royalty-free license in perpetuity to use such software. Any creator who wishes to request an exception to this policy or to challenge a copyright decision by the University may appeal to the Provost. The Provost will appoint an ad hoc committee of three members mutually acceptable to the creator and the Provost, including at least one faculty member and one member of the administration. The committee will prepare a report of its findings and make a recommendation to the Provost. The decision of the Provost, which is to be explained in writing, will be final.

University employees who are engaged in consulting work are responsible for ensuring that clauses in their agreements are not in conflict with this copyright policy or with the rights of other parties.

Intellectual Property Forms and Agreements

Intellectual Property and Confidentiality Agreement for Sponsored Projects

Invention and Technology Disclosure Form

Sponsored Research Agreement Standard IP

Sponsored Research Agreement with Joint IP

Class Project IP Agreement with Third Party

Class Project IP Assignment Form for Students

Senior Design Project Review

Senior Design Project Agreement

Information from USPTO TreMonti Presentation