Intellectual Property Procedures

INITIATED: January 6, 2006

APPROVED: March 13, 2006


To supplement the NMU Intellectual Property Policy by providing implementation procedures.


Faculty, staff, students, and research associates of Northern Michigan University.


Ownership of intellectual property, other than has been expressly excluded in the NMU Intellectual Property policy, is retained by the University. It is the responsibility of the creator(s) of such intellectual property to give timely notice of its existence to the University.

Patentable discoveries

Employees, students or others working under the direction of the University are required to notify the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research of discoveries that have the potential for receiving a patent, or that have potential commercial value. This notification must be made before the publication in any manner whatsoever of the discovery. If there is doubt by the creator(s) about a particular discovery or invention as to the applicability of this requirement, the creator(s) are obliged to seek clarification from the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

In the event that the University retains the ownership of a patentable discovery, conditions attendant to that ownership, including publication rights, will be conveyed in writing to the creator(s).

The notification of a discovery will contain these elements:

Name(s) of the creator(s):

University affiliation (employee, student, research associate, other):

Date of the discovery:

General description of the discovery:

Source of support (University, federal grant, state grant, private grant):

The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research will give timely notice to the creator(s) of the discovery that 1) the University intends to secure a patent for the discovery or 2) that the University will not seek a patent and will relinquish ownership of the discovery to the creator(s).


Ownership of copyrightable materials developed by faculty in consideration for additional compensation or reduced workload will be stipulated in the terms of an agreement between the faculty and University for the completion of such works. The acceptance of the terms in such an agreement is voluntary with the faculty member and with the University.


When the University has ownership rights, earnings derived from intellectual property after direct costs to the University are recovered, are shared with the inventor(s) who created such property. The percent of the inventor’s(s’) share of royalties and/or other income is as follows:

1.   100% of the first $5,000
2.   70% of the amount from $5,000 to $50,000
3.   50% of the amount from $50,000 to $200,000
4.   15% of any amount in excess of $200,000


Intellectual Property Policy


Academic Affairs

For implementing instructions, please click here: