November 15-16, 2001

ITEM 113-110-R1101   Board of Regents Policy and Procedures Manual:  Research and Public Service |  University System/Employee Joint Ventures

University System/Employee Joint Ventures

  1. Purpose. The purpose of this policy is to implement the provisions of 20-25-109 MCA and to exercise the Board's constitutional authority to regulate the conduct of its employees. The goal of the policy is to develop an additional mechanism whereby intellectual property created by University System employees can be disseminated and utilized in a fashion mutually advantageous to the state, the University System and the employee.

  2. Definition. "Intellectual property" as used in this policy means: "Inventions, discoveries, and creations that may be eligible for copyright or patent." The term also includes other economic development activity of a proprietary nature, including but not limited to business practices, ideas, processes, or arrangements that may not be eligible for either patent or copyright but for which the possibility of profitable commercialization exists.

  3. Board Approval.If approved by the Board, a University System employee, or person under contract with a University System unit, may serve as an officer or member of a governing board of a for-profit entity that has an agreement with a University System unit or any other public entity that relates to the research, development, licensing or commercial exploitation of intellectual property owned in whole or in part by that individual or the University System. Such an agreement may contain a provision for the employee or contractor to maintain an equity interest in the for-profit entity or to otherwise participate in the financial returns generated by the intellectual property. A request for Board approval should contain:
    1. An explanation of the nature of the agreement for which approval is sought, including all the parties, the duration of the agreement, and the conditions under which the agreement may be terminated or dissolved;
    2. A demonstration that the University System will likely benefit from the agreement and a listing of the potential benefits;
    3. A summary of the financial implications of the agreement including the value and nature of the contribution of each party;
    4. Details of the intellectual property that is the subject of the agreement. If the request contains sensitive information, the disclosure of which may damage the project, the sensitive information may be considered in closed session if the Board Chair concludes that this is legally appropriate If the Board Chair concludes that the material is not shielded from public disclosure the request for approval may be withdrawn prior to Board consideration.

  4.  Other Policies. If an employee's equity interest or financial participation in the commercial development of intellectual property is established pursuant to Regents' Policies 401.2 (Patents and Inventions), 401.3 (Copyright) or 406 (Ownership of Electronic Course Material), it shall be deemed approved by the Board.

  5. Reports. Each unit shall no later than December 31 of each year report to the Commissioner regarding each agreement under Sec. III.  The report shall include whether the agreement  still is operative, financial details such as revenues and profit and loss, and any other information necessary to properly evaluate the status of the collaborative effort.  If an agreement has been terminated that fact need only be reported once.


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