Feb 28, 2024  
DMACC Policies and Procedures 
DMACC Policies and Procedures
Add to Portfolio (opens a new window)

MC314 - Intellectual Property


Section: Management of the College

Part I:  Patent Ownership

With the exception of inventions made on personal time and which involves the use of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) resources, such as normal use of resources generally available to all faculty such as office space, library facilities, and computers, every invention or discovery or part thereof that results from activities carried out at DMACC by the employee or that is developed by the employee with aid of DMACC’s facilities, staff or funds during an agreement or contract, shall be the property of DMACC and, as a condition of employment, shall be assigned by the employee to DMACC in the manner prescribed by DMACC.


Joint ownership of patent works is permissible under Part II, Section 3. 


Part II:  Copyright Ownership


  1. Ownership by Creator

Individuals engage in scholarly, pedagogical or creative efforts produce a great variety of copyrighted works.These include, for example, books, articles, lecture notes and handouts, photographs, audio visual works, methodologies & processes, and computer programs.


When an employee or student authors a copyrighted work, regardless of the medium used, that individual will be the sole owner of the work, unless the circumstances of sections 2, or 3 apply.Even though DMACC may provide support in the way of facilities, materials, equipment, or personnel, individual ownership in such works is appropriate.


It is understood, however, that the individual will grant a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide license allowing DMACC to use, copy, distribute, display, perform, and create derivative works of such work that was originally designed for the express purpose of making such work available to individuals other than, or in addition to, the creator for use in teaching, administration, or other College activities. Examples of such work include presentation material created by an employee for use at a work-related conference, or curricular materials created by a faculty member (not under the circumstances of section 2 or Part III) to use in sections of a course that is taught by several department faculty. Such materials will be available to DMACC free of charge, even if the creator has left DMACC.In the case of works created by multiple authors, where one or more of the authors is unaffiliated with DMACC and not subject to this policy, it is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that such other authors are made aware of this policy and that they consent to the grant of the license to DMACC.


  1. Ownership by DMACC

DMACC will retain ownership of copyright in works created for the administrative functions of DMACC, which are supportive of college operations and produced as part of a specific job assignment or contract by DMACC. Examples include, but are not limited to, marketing and promotional materials, computer code and applications, training materials, college publications, policies, and reports.


This category does not include materials created by faculty in connection with their individual teaching, research, or other scholarly activities, unless the works are specifically directed or commissioned by DMACC.


Employees retain portfolio rights for works created.


“DMACC shall affirm its commitment to the open sharing of the creative and innovative work of DMACC staff through its application of ownership rights.Where privacy, security or confidentiality issues do not apply, the department may decide to share works and grant permission for reproduction for other not-for-profit uses.”


  1. Joint Ownership of Copyrights / Patents

Shared ownership of copyright/patent, and revenue (planned or realized) may be initiated by the employee, student, or College, and should be negotiated and agreed upon in writing prior to the creation of works.


Generally, students own the copyright in the works they create, including their contributions to collaborative projects, unless circumstances of Section 2 apply.Accordingly, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to obtain a written agreement from each student before involving students in scholarly research or other projects that may result in works the faculty or staff would want to use or publish.


Outside Grants or Funding

Copyright/Patent ownership, resulting from works funded by an external agency (e.g. grant), will be determined in accordance with the terms of agreement with the external party and applicable law. Where the terms of the grant funding include “support”, an apportionment of rights or an assignment of the rights to DMACC shall be arranged by the President. An agreement regarding copyright ownership must be signed by DMACC, external agency, and the appropriate individuals before acceptance of outside funding.

Cross Reference:
HR413 - Restricted Use of College Resources  

HR417 - Employee Conduct and Conflict of Interest  


Adopted: July 16, 1985
Reviewed: 2000, 2005, 2011, 2019

January 10, 2000; September 14, 2020; October 10, 2022

Add to Portfolio (opens a new window)