Washington State University

Revised 10-13
Office of Commercialization

Copyrighting and Marketing Original Material

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Generally, WSU is the copyright owner of all works produced by WSU personnel.


For purposes of this policy the term "author" refers to the individual(s) responsible for the creation of the original work.


The Intellectual Property Committee administers WSU copyright matters and determines University copyright policy. The Director of the Office of Commercialization (OC) is ex officio secretary for the committee. Direct specific questions on copyright matters to the OC; telephone 335-5526.


Ownership and royalty rights to copyrightable materials originated by WSU personnel are set forth in the table below.


The OC and individual WSU administrative units approve WSU-owned materials for copyright registration.

Prior Approval

WSU's prior approval and review process ensures that materials which are copyrighted, published, and marketed by the University have achieved acceptable technical and content quality standards.

WSU Review

The author's administrative unit and the OC act as a team to review and approve the work.

Producers of audiovisual and instructional television materials from the College of Veterinary Medicine seek approval from Biomedical Communications.


If the work is rejected by any reviewing group the author is advised in writing and allowed to remedy the problem. The author may appeal a reviewing groups decision to the Intellectual Property Committee.

Extent of WSU Support Initiative and Effort Description Ownership Rights* Royalty Rights Examples***
None Individual Absolutely no use of WSU facilities, time, materials, or services.** Individual Individual A novel or text written at home; preparation cost borne entirely by the author.
(less than 25%)
Individual Incidental use of WSU facilities and time.** Individual Individual

Text written by a faculty member; utilized WSU office space, library.

More than 25% University Specifically assigned University duty or a duty specifically commissioned in writing. Use of WSU facilities, time, materials or services. University University Materials produced by WSU staff units. WSU publications. Assigned audiovisual productions.
Variable--supported by extramural sponsors in whole or in part. Individual and/or University and/or sponsor   As set forth in the documents and/or regulations governing the sponsored programs.  

* Articles published by scholarly, professional, and commercial journals are usually copyrighted by the publication. The author, University, or sponsor may be requested to transfer copyright rights. Prior review by the Intellectual Property Committee and WSU departments is not required in such cases.
** Use of WSU clerical support for preparation of these materials is prohibited. All expenses relating to licensing, protection, and sale of these materials are the responsibility of the author. See also the Faculty Manual.
*** Examples are included as guidance only and are not to be interpreted to limit any category.

Final Approval

The Intellectual Property Committee is responsible to determine a dispute on approval.


The OC may accept the work. If the OC accepts the work, the OC manages the copyright in accordance with the Faculty Manual.

Released to Author

The Committee may release the material to the author which allows the author to market the work without WSU affiliation.

Responsibility for Copyright Registration and Marketing

Audiovisual Materials and Instructional Television Programs


Biomedical Communications is responsible for marketing materials produced by administrative units within the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Copyright Registration

WSU service departments (e.g., Biomedical Communications) are responsible for registering copyrights for those materials for which they have marketing responsibility.

Other WSU-Owned Materials

The appropriate WSU administrative unit or commercial agency as indicated in the contract coordinates production and marketing.

The OC may register the copyright.

Accounting for Proceeds

The University distributes the proceeds generated from the sale or rental of copyrighted materials in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Faculty Manual.


Statutory copyright protection occurs as soon as an original work is fixed in tangible form, whether published or unpublished. (17 USC l02)

Copyright Notice

Proper notice includes placing the word "Copyright," the abbreviation "copr.," or the symbol ©; the year of first publication of the work; and the copyright owner's name in such a location so as to provide "reasonable notice of claim of copyright." Usually this notice is placed on the title page. (17 USC 401)

The University obtains copyright in the name of the Board of Regents of Washington State University.

Registration of Copyright

Unpublished as well as published work may be registered for additional copyright protection.

Registration of the copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office increases the owner's control and improves the prospects of recovering damages in cases of unauthorized use.

Instructions and forms may be obtained from the OC; telephone 335-5526.