While attending college, students are catered in an environment fostering the creation of intellectual property every day. In the technologically advanced world we live in, intellectual property encompasses a wide range innovations created by students. This includes artwork, music, screenplays, academic research, scientific findings, phone apps, computer programs, internet websites, engineering inventions… the possibilities for student created Intellectual Property are endless!
A critical part of innovation is the impartial evaluation of ownership. Historically, post-secondary institutions possess the legal right to pursue intellectual protection to any invention or innovation created by a faculty or staff member or any group consisting of faculty or staff members. This policy is commonplace in the corporate world and applies to all individuals who are on the payroll of the institution.
Where this policy fails to work efficiently is at the student level. Students possess very limited rights to inventions and innovations and often share incredibly high margins of legal ownership with their respective institutions.
We, a student-conceived lobbyist organization, are calling for a federal reformation that grants university students, whose projects are not directly funded by their respective institutions, a majority of intellectual property rights. This reformation would encourage innovation at the university level and provide a fair and socially progressive solution to the current problems perpetuated by outdated and/or nonexistent federal, state, and local initiatives.
Without these standards, students could find themselves in undesirable circumstances. Take these examples:
Read about the intellectual property issues facing Facebook and Netscape at their respective universities… (Read More)
Read about a University of Missouri student who developed an iPhone app and later approached by the university demanding royalties… (Read More)
Everyday unfair IP policies at colleges and universities across America allow schools to claim ownership of their student’s IP, hindering a student’s ability to capitalize on opportunities while attending college, encouraging students to drop out or wait until graduation. This is not only debilitating for students, but in the ultra competitive global market, lost opportunities can hurt the U.S. economy.
It’s fundamental EVERY student has the right to protect and retain their own creations, discoveries, and innovations while attending school. This will require colleges and universities across the country to have clear and defined policies outlining equity ownership and royalties regarding student created intellectual property!