Union Institute and University

Intellectual Property Policy

Effective July 1, 2014, as Revised
The purpose of this policy is to ensure fairness and equity in the development and dissemination of useful creations, products, or processes by students at Union Institute & University (hereinafter referred to as “UI&U”). This policy clarifies individual and institutional copyrights, patent rights, and other intellectual property rights associated with ownership and with the distribution of benefits that may be derived from the creation of various types of intellectual property. A separate, more detailed policy applies to employees of the university: this policy focuses on students’ rights pertaining to their academic creations.

General Policy

In keeping with the norms of academic tradition, except to the extent set forth in this policy, UI&U does not claim ownership to pedagogical, scholarly, or artistic works. These works include those of students created in the course of their education, such as dissertations, papers, and articles. UI&U claims no ownership in nonfiction, textbooks, novels, poems, musical compositions, or other works of artistic imagination which are not institutional works and did not make significant use of UI&U resources or the services of UI&U non-faculty employees working within the scope of their employment.

Student Work

A student creation or work is a work produced by a registered student without the use of UI&U funds (other than student financial aid); outside any UI&U employment (including work study); and is not a sponsored or commissioned work by UI&U, a cooperative employer, or other outside agency. Students are responsible for obtaining and maintaining copyright permissions related to their creations, as applicable.

The student shall own her or his creation or work submitted in fulfillment of academic requirements. However, by enrolling at UI&U, the student gives the institution a nonexclusive royalty-free license to mark on, modify, and retain the work as may be required by the process of instruction. The institution shall not have the right to use the work in any other manner without the written consent of the student.

If a student is performing work sponsored or commissioned by UI&U (i.e. not part of the student’s regular academic work), the student’s ownership is limited to the creation or work itself, and does not extend to data or other scholarly information the student may have collected or obtained during the course of a project or to other creations which may be based on the same scholarly information. Such data and other scholarly information collected will remain the property of UI&U and be kept by UI&U. If the student’s project is supported by funds or other resources from agencies external to UI&U and substantial use of UI&U resources is involved, the ownership and location of the scholarly information will be determined by the agreement between UI&U and the agency or by the published requirements of the agency. In the absence of such requirements or agreements and for projects which receive no external support but where substantial use of UI&U resources is involved, the data and other scholarly information collected as a result of the student academic creation will remain the property of UI&U and be kept by UI&U.

Ownership of textbooks, scholarly monographs, trade publications, maps, charts, articles in popular magazines and newspapers, novels, nonfiction works, supporting materials, artistic works, syllabi, lecture notes, and like works shall reside with the student who created them and any revenue derived from the creator’s work shall belong to the creator. UI&U includes in its interpretation of scholarly works those presented at professional meetings or electronically distributed. World Wide Web pages, transparencies for projection, electronic presentation, etc. of scholarly activity remain the property of the creator as stated in this section.

Ownership of manuscripts for publication in academic journals shall reside with the student who created them and any revenue derived from the works shall belong to the creator. Ownership is limited to the scholarly work and does not necessarily extend to data or other scholarly information that the student may have collected or obtained during the course of the project or to other creations which may be based on the same scholarly information. In the absence of such requirements or agreements and for projects which receive no external support, and where substantial use of campus or UI&U resources has been made, the data and other scholarly information collected as a result of the scholarly activity of an UI&U student will remain the property of UI&U and will reside physically within UI&U or one of its campuses.

Observance of Copyrights

UI&U respects the intellectual property rights of others. Accordingly, UI&U students are expected not to infringe on the copyrights of others. Unless permission has been obtained for the use of copyrighted material from the copyright owner, such material may only be used if permitted by the “fair use doctrine.” The Copyright Act contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. However, the distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission.

Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission. The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.” If in doubt about whether a proposed use of copyrighted material falls within the fair use doctrine, students are expected to either obtain permission to use the material from the copyright owner or otherwise obtain guidance from the VPAA.

Use of Union Institute & University Name

Without prior written permission from UI&U, no student shall be permitted to use or incorporate the name “Union Institute & University” (except for purposes of biographical references) or to use any other trademark or service mark of UI&U in any work created by the student.



The intangible property right conferred by federal statute for an original work fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright provides the owner with the following exclusive rights in a work: the right to reproduce, to prepare derivative works, to distribute by sale or otherwise, to perform publicly, and to display publicly.

Institutional works

Include works that are supported by a specific allocation of UI&U funds or that are created at the direction of UI&U for a specific UI&U purpose. UI&U shall retain ownership of works created as institutional works. Institutional works also include works whose authorship cannot be attributed to one or a discrete number of authors.

Substantial Use

Institutional resources means that in connection with the project at issue the creator of the materials received staff, salary, or material support beyond that normally provided to a typical student. Examples of non-significant use include ordinary use of university computers and/or the UI&U library. Should a question arise about whether support is beyond the norm, the unit leader (program or school head, dean, etc.) will provide a written opinion concerning the level of use of UI&U support and facilities. The student may or may not obtain such an opinion prior to commencing the project. However, an student who fails to request and receive such an advance opinion will be bound by any later determination made at the sole discretion of UI&U that the student made substantial use of institutional resources.

Intellectual Property Committee

At the direction of the VPAA, an ad hoc committee consisting of an equal number of faculty and administration may be formed from time to time to advise the VPAA regarding any necessary changes to the UI&U Intellectual Property Policy.

Dispute Resolution

In the event a dispute arises under this intellectual property policy, the affected parties shall first attempt to resolve such dispute through mutual negotiation. The dispute representative for UI&U shall be the VPAA. After a period of thirty (30) days has elapsed, if the parties have been unable to resolve such dispute, the parties agree to submit to non-binding mediation using the services and procedures of the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) and the AAA’s Commercial Mediation Procedures. If, following such mediation, the parties are still unable to settle the outstanding dispute, then the dispute shall be resolved through final and binding arbitration held in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. Arbitration shall proceed in accordance with the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the AAA unless other rules are agreed upon by the parties. The parties shall use the services of one (1) arbitrator, which shall be mutually selected by the parties, provided that if thirty (30) days elapse and the parties remain unable to agree upon the arbitrator, then either party may, in writing, request the AAA to appoint the arbitrator. All proceedings, hearings, testimony, documents, or writings connected with the arbitration shall not be disclosed by a party or its representative to persons not connected with, or interested in, the arbitration. The arbitrator may grant any relief authorized by law for any properly established claim. The award made in the arbitration shall be binding and conclusive on the parties and judgment may be, but need not be, entered in any court having jurisdiction.

Employees (faculty and staff) should refer to the university’s general intellectual property, available on the Human Resources policies page of the university employee intranet.