Policy Title

Intellectual Property Rights


This policy covers the ownership of intellectual property generated by faculty, staff, or students with University resources.


All faculty, staff, and students engaged in research that may lead to intellectual property.

Policy Number:
Effective Date:09/01/2018
Date Reviewed: 03/08/2021
Last Review Date: Jan 1 2003 12:00AM; 09/01/2018; 03/08/2021
Responsible Official: Intellectual Property Rights Committee
Responsible Office:
Contact Information:

Academic Affairs

115 Tillman Hall

Rock Hill, SC 29733




1.0 Specific meanings of bold terms seen throughout this policy can be found within the University's policy definition glossary by following the link below.

1.1 http://www.winthrop.edu/policy-definitions-glossary

It is in the interest of all members of the university community to foster the creation of the highest quality intellectual properties of any type that further the academic mission of the University; foster the dissemination of new knowledge and the maintenance of high academic standards to improve the education we provide our students and the service we provide to the citizens of the State of South Carolina; and to provide incentives for university faculty, staff, and students to participate fully in the use and creation of intellectual properties. Strong mutual interests are shared among the university, the faculty, the staff, and the students in the appropriate allocation of the ownership rights associated with such intellectual properties; and the rights that belong to the owners of intellectual properties should be optimally allocated to support the mutual interests of the university, faculty, staff, and students.

Each Winthrop employee has the responsibility to protect intellectual property during development. The employee must establish intellectual property rights within 60 days of initiating development work by providing written notice to the Dean or department head of his or her area, who will report it promptly to the Academic Vice President. The Vice President must then provide within 30 days a written determination of Winthrop’s intent to pursue or to relinquish any rights to the subject intellectual property. In the event Winthrop elects to relinquish its intellectual property rights, the rights will be assigned to the creator.

The University has an interest in how its name is used. Faculty members may not decide whether the University should sponsor a program. Use of the University name for non-sponsored research or creation must be approved in writing by the Office of the President and in advance of use. The creator of intellectual property may appeal any adverse determination concerning the identification, protection, and/or management of intellectual property to the University Sponsored Programs and Research Office, whose determinations may be appealed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the appropriate college. Further appeals are subject to existing University policy concerning review of administrative decisions.

Disclose to appropriate University or College officials the creation of intellectual property by filling out the INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS POLICY FORM; Conduct intellectual property transfer activities consistent with University and College policies and procedures, including those governing conflicts of commitment and conflicts of interest; and, Cooperate with the University in defending and prosecuting patents and in legal actions taken in response to copyright infringement.

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