The Office of Sponsored Programs & Research Administration (OSPRA) oversees the management of intellectual property and its protection at Valdosta State University. OSPRA collaborates and administratively supports the Intellectual Property Committee to better ensure a partnership between faculty, students, and staff who are inventors.

What is Intellectual Property?  Intellectual property (IP) is defined as creative and scholarly works and inventions which have commercial potential and may be protected under the laws of various countries that establish rights. This term includes patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, plant variety protection, and other rights

This means IP is any innovation or discovery conceived or developed by faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows or students using university resources. “Use of university resources” is purposefully broad and includes all use of employee or student time, equipment, supplies or facilities and clinical practice. For example, an idea arising from your work is IP covered by this definition.

Who is an Inventor? An inventor is one who creates in whole or in part an invention. An invention may have one or more inventors. It is a question of law whether a person can be defined as an inventor. It is possible that an active participant of a research project might not be considered a co-inventor for patent purposes.

  1. Employee policy: US laws state that inventors own what they invent or create, except when they are employees. Furthermore, the Bayh-Dole Act gives universities the right to retain ownership of IP resulting from federally funded research. This right of ownership allows Valdosta State to protect your rights to use the IP and to continue to build on your research.  The impact of the above is that all inventions by faculty members, staff, and students who are using university funds, facilities, materials, equipment, personnel or proprietary technological information, are the property of the University and proceeds from the commercialization of these inventions will be shared with the inventor.​
  1. Exemption for academic use. The university does not claim any ownership rights in the area known as “traditional products of scholarly activity.” These work products, developed at the author’s initiative, include journal articles, textbooks, reviews, works of art including musical compositions and traditional course materials. The university considers these items the unrestricted property of the author or originator.
  1. Disclosures. It is the responsibility of each employee inventor who develops IP to fill out the appropriate form on the Intellectual Property Forms page. By reviewing the information and the circumstance, the OSPRA staff can advise you of the next step.
  1. Relevant Circumstances:
      • Funded by grant. Many times, research monies have led to the invention or creative work. The award terms may dictate ownership.
      • Inventing at home in your work requirements. Employment Policy states that if in your employment area, it needs to be disclosed to VSU. In cases where it is outside your employment area, if should be disclosed with a request to have ownership waived back to the individual
      • Students. Are not employees and thus not covered by the preceding Employment Policies, except when they are employed as research assistants, or are on scholarships or awards administered by VSU.

Intellectual Property Committee: University Committee on Intellectual Property, appointed by the President, is responsible for interpreting the Intellectual Property and resolving questions and disputes concerning it. The committee is responsible for advising the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research on all matters regarding university patents and other intellectual property.