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Intellectual Property Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
74.01 Vice President, Academic Director, Applied Research Board of Governors Feb. 19, 2015 Dec. 2019 Dec. 16, 2019 Dec. 2024
  1. Purpose
    1. The intent of this policy is to provide a supportive framework for the development of intellectual property which supports and recognizes the mutually beneficial interests of students, employees, the Nova Scotia Community College and the external community.
    2. Through this policy, the Nova Scotia Community College intends to promote learning, innovation, entrepreneurship and applied research by employees, students and external partners and service providers and to outline the Nova Scotia Community College’s policies respecting the ownership, disclosure and commercialization of the associated intellectual property.
  1. Scope
    1. The mission of the Nova Scotia Community College is to build Nova Scotia’s economy and quality of life through education and innovation. This includes a commitment to encouraging the success and contributions of students and employees in the field of innovation.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
College the Nova Scotia Community College.
Curriculum all materials for evaluating the attainment of educational objectives which includes but is not limited to materials which outline learning standards, teaching and learning strategies, learning objectives, learning outcomes, and course descriptions and requirements.
Student anyone registered in College programs, and participating in College courses, programs, events or activities.
Employees all persons employed by the College on a full-time, part-time, auxiliary, casual and term basis and includes, but is not limited to faculty, professional support, administrative and faculty and professional support, administrative staff, operational staff and all others employed by NSCC, visiting faculty, contractors, consultants, Students under contract conducting research as a requirement for their academic program and all other persons who engage in projects with the College using the College’s employees, Students, facilities or resources, whether compensated by the College or not.
Intellectual Property all interests and rights arising out of the intellectual and artistic activity of Employees and students of the College and includes, but is not limited to, inventions (whether or not patentable), works, technology, processes, formulae, designs, know-how, trade-secrets, discoveries, research, computer software, slogans, Curriculum, Teaching Materials and all proprietary information; any improvements, updates or modifications related to the above; and all related copyright, trade-mark, industrial design, plant breeders’ rights, and integrated circuit topography applications and registrations world-wide.
Moral Rights comprise the right of a creator or author of a work (that is subject to copyright) to be associated with the work as its author (or by pseudonym or to remain anonymous) and the right to the integrity of the work. Moral Rights cannot be assigned but can be waived by the creator or author of the work.
Teaching Materials materials used for instructional purposes including but not limited to course notes, classroom materials, teaching plans, assessment instruments, and other materials or processes normally prepared for instructional purposes.
  1. Policy
    1. Ownership - Students
      Students will own all Intellectual Property created by them as part of their course requirements at the College except:
      1. where the College pays the student for the Intellectual Property created, in which case, the College will own the Intellectual Property;
      2. where the student uses College equipment, resources, facilities and/or premises to create the Intellectual Property and the Intellectual Property is created outside the student’s course requirements, in which case, the student will obtain the consent of the College, in advance, and the student and College will negotiate, in good faith, an agreement respecting the use, ownership, waiver or non-waiver of any Moral Rights, disclosure, commercialization and revenue allocation for the Intellectual Property.
      The College will have a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use all Intellectual Property created by students for internal, non-commercial use in addition to any Intellectual Property owned by the College.
    2. Ownership - Employees
      Intellectual property created by an Employee outside the course of their employment; outside prescribed working hours; and which does not make use of any College funds, equipment, resources, facilities or premises and which does not arise from College commercial or development activities of which the Employee is involved or has knowledge that could compromise the College’s opportunities for commercialization, is owned by the Employee.

      Where an Employee is specifically assigned, under contract or seconded in order to develop or contribute to the development of Intellectual Property by the College, the College will own all generated Intellectual Property. The Employee and the College will negotiate, in good faith, an agreement respecting the waiver or non-waiver of any Moral Rights; the disclosure and any consideration for the Intellectual Property.

      The College is the owner of all Intellectual Property developed or contributed to by an Employee in the course of his or her employment, which constitutes Curriculum.

      The Employee is the owner of all Teaching Materials, authored by the Employee, subject to the following conditions:
      1. NSCC encourages and supports the fostering of a knowledge sharing culture through a variety of means and mechanisms including a knowledge repository. The Employee will provide to the College examples of Teaching Materials authored by the Employee by the end of each spring term for the purpose of knowledge sharing, teaching and research through a knowledge repository of the College. The College has the right to further use, amend and develop the teaching materials within the College.
      2. No fee or consideration will be paid by the College to the Employee in this respect.
      3. The Teaching Materials will not be used by the College or used or licensed by the Employee for commercial sale or commercial purposes.
      The College is the owner of all Intellectual Property developed or contributed to by an Employee, in the course of his or her employment, which is suitable for commercialization. The Employee and the College will negotiate, in good faith, an agreement respecting the waiver or non-waiver of Moral Rights; the disclosure, commercialization and any revenue sharing for any such Intellectual Property which is commercialized.

      Where the Intellectual Property is owned by the College, the College will pursue, or elect not to pursue, in its sole discretion, commercialization of the Intellectual Property.
    3. Voluntary Assignment
      Employees and students may voluntarily transfer their ownership of Intellectual Property and/or waive their Moral Rights to the College for commercialization or other purposes.
    4. Name Association
      Students and Employees have the right to have their name associated, or not associated, with any Intellectual Property as a creator and/or owner, except as required by law for the registration of the Intellectual Property.
    5. Other Parties
      Any agreement between the College and a person or entity who is not an Employee or student of the College,to conduct research or develop Intellectual Property will be in writing and executed by the parties, where possible, in advance of the creation of the Intellectual Property. The Agreement will provide for the ownership, the waiver or non-waiver of Moral Rights, commercialization and risk/revenue sharing between the parties, for the Intellectual Property other than as required by this Policy.
    6. Disclosure and Confidentiality
      Except as otherwise provided, Employees and students will disclose, as soon as possible, the creation of any Intellectual Property to the College, in particular to the Associate Vice President Applied Research and Innovation.

      Other than as disclosed under this Policy or as set out in an agreement, the College, Employees and student have an ongoing obligation to maintain confidentiality respecting the Intellectual Property, and its development. Certain disclosures could affect the Intellectual Property applications and registrations associated with the Intellectual Property.
    7. Rights of the College
      Where the Intellectual Property is owned by the College, the College will pursue, or elect not to pursue, in its sole discretion, commercialization of the Intellectual Property.

      In all other circumstances, the commercialization and any revenue sharing of the Intellectual Property developed under this Policy will be governed by agreements between the parties.

      The College may choose, in its sole discretion, to transfer its rights and interests in the Intellectual Property to another, including but not limited to an Employee or student, subject to the terms and conditions determined by the College.
    8. Approval
      All agreements entered into by the College respecting Intellectual Property will be approved in advance by the College, in particular the Associate Vice President Applied Research and Innovation.
    9. Dispute Resolution - Students
      All agreements entered into by the College respecting Intellectual Property will be approved in advance by the College, in particular the Associate Vice President Applied Research and Innovation.
    10. Dispute Resolution - Employees
      If a dispute arises under this Policy which cannot be settled by the direct parties involved, there will be a meeting among the Employee,their bargaining unit representative as applicable, the ExecutiveTeam Member (or designate) of the College responsible for the applicable functional area and the Director of Human Resources of the College (or designate) with the purpose of attempting to resolve the dispute. If the parties are unable to reach agreement, the parties will submit the dispute to arbitration. The arbitrator shall be appointed by mutual agreement between the applicable Union and the College within fourteen (14) working days of receipt of the notice of referral. If the parties are unable to agree upon an Arbitrator within fourteen (14) days, the appointment shall be made by the Minister responsible for the Trade Union Act upon the request of either party. The applicable Union and the College shall each pay one half of the costs of the Arbitrator. Each party is responsible for any expenses related to its representatives, participants, witnesses and of the preparation and presentation of its own case.

      In the event that an employee is not a member of a bargaining unit, the same Dispute Resolution process will apply and at the employee’s discretion, they may elect to have legal representation participate in the Dispute Resolution process. Non-Union employees will be responsible for any expenses related to its representatives, participants, witnesses and of the preparation and presentation of its own case.
  1. Policy Supports
None
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