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Pepperdine University

University Policy on Patents and Copyrights



Copyrightable materials which are developed by University personnel within the course of employment or which are developed with the use of University funds or facilities shall be the property of the University. Written works or software created by faculty members in discipline-related areas will be excepted from this general rule and will be viewed by the University as the property of the author. The University shall, however, be entitled to use of the software without payment of copyright royalties or fees of any kind for use by the University for its purposes.

"Copyrightable materials" include the following types of materials: written works such as books, journal articles, texts, glossaries, bibliographies, study guides, laboratory manuals, syllabuses, tests and proposals; lectures, musical or dramatic compositions and unpublished scripts; films, filmstrips, charts, transparencies, and other visual aids; video and audio tapes; live video or audio broadcasts; computer programs; pictorial, graphic and sculptural works; sound recordings; and other similar materials.


Every invention or discovery or part thereof that results from research or other activities carried out at the University or that is developed with the aid of the University's facilities, staff, or through funds administered by the University, shall be the property of the University. As a condition of employment or enrollment and attendance, every invention or discovery shall be assigned to the University.


There may be instances in which University personnel create materials or inventions which would be University property under the terms of this policy but which the creator believes were created under unique circumstances deserving of special consideration.

In such instances, personnel may submit a written petition explaining the exceptional circumstances to the Vice President over his or her department. The appropriate Vice President will review the petition and issue a written determination regarding ownership rights in the material. If this determination is unsatisfactory to the petitioning party, final appeal may be made to the office of the President of the University.