As soon as you, as an author/creator, set down your writing, diagram, painting, music, sculpture, etc. in a ‘tangible form of expression,’ it is protected by copyright. In the U.S. copyright ownership belongs to the author/creator unless the work is considered a work for hire, created within the scope of employment or specially ordered or commissioned as a work for hire.
Copyright does not protect some things, like facts, names, short phrases, and methods. However, trademark law can be used to protect names and short phrases, and patent law can be used to protect methods.
One page guide to help you determine how you can protect and share your intellectual property.
The USF Inventions and Works Policy and Regulation addresses what works are considered a work for hire at USF and describe the types of works, inventions, and situations where the USF Technology Transfer Office will work with faculty creators and researchers to disseminate and protect the work or invention.
Works created for scholarly communication, like research articles, conference presentations, and monograph publications are copyright to the author under USF Policy. Likewise, instructional material created by an instructor for use in a class is copyright to the instructor so long as they did not use appreciable USF resources to create the work. If a USF employee creates a work that does not fall into these two categories, they should disclose their work to the Technology Transfer Office, using the form below.
The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) works with researchers and students in every college to ready new inventions for the patenting process and potential licensing opportunities. This work allows for a sustained focus on transferring cutting-edge research and innovation to the commercial marketplace, generating revenue and diversifying the economy.
• If you have created a work or invention that requires disclosure to the USF Technology Transfer Office, as described in the above linked policy and regulation, you can start your declaration with the Disclosure of Work form.
• USF Research & Innovation FacultyOne-Stop provides USF researchers with quick links to guides and instructions, tools and forms, online training and more, for each phase of the research administration life cycle.