Intellectual Property Task Force

Rationale, Charge and Timeline

Taken from the invitation letters for Task Force Members.

The University of San Diego’s mission and core values affirm its commitment to teaching, research, and other scholarly activities to advance the common good and to serve the local, national, and international communities. To that end, and consistent with its status as a non-profit institution of higher education, USD seeks to encourage its students, faculty and other employees to engage in various forms of creative works in order to create ideas and inventions that benefit society. This commitment to elevating faculty and staff engagement is one of the main goals of Envisioning 2024. Through the pathway of engaged scholarship, USD will be more likely to attract and retain productive scholars.

One of the ways that institutions of higher education support engaged scholarship is through the development of intellectual property policies in which the university has an ownership interest in the intellectual property created by its faculty and other employees, subject to various exceptions traditionally recognized in academia and also subject to shared royalty arrangements for licensed inventions to incentivize and reward faculty and employees for their creations. The structure of these policies advances the institutional non-profit, charitable mission. These policies also create a positive incentive for the university to invest in and dedicate resources towards activities that advance entrepreneurship, technology transfer, potential commercialization of creative work, and collaboration with faculty and other employees to promote ideas and inventions for the common good.

Although many of our peer and aspirational institutions have robust intellectual property policies to support faculty and staff, USD’s current Intellectual Creativity Policy (Policy 2.8.1) was approved in 1994 and has not been updated since then. Because USD does not have an ownership stake in the creations, and because faculty typically do not have access to resources to pursue patents and licensing opportunities, many opportunities to advance entrepreneurship have been missed. Also, the current policy does not adequately account for the unique opportunities and challenges that arise when the university seeks to create and deliver programs (on-line or otherwise) that build on USD’s unique identity and reputation and that require a substantial investment by the university to ensure success.

The Intellectual Property Policy Task Force was developed to address some of these challenges and to meet our goal of elevating faculty and staff engagement through Envisioning 2024.

The charges of the Task Force are to examine Policy 2.8.1, review model policies at other institutions, and recommend an updated and comprehensive Intellectual Property Policy that will replace .

The following is the proposed timeline for the work of the Task Force:

  • 2018-2019
    • Task Force meetings
  • 2019-2020 
    • Goal: completion of proposed policy by Fall 2019
    • Review of proposed policy by Executive Committee
    • Referral of proposed policy to Senate
    • Review by Senate to be completed by end of Fall 2019
  • Task Force Members