The ECC Mission »

Intellectual Property Rights

Dallas County Community College District 057501
Employment Requirements and Restrictions Conflict of Interest DBD(LOCAL)



The purpose of this intellectual property policy is to:
  1. Protect instructional quality;
  2. Protect the investment of time and resources on behalf of the College District;
  3. Encourage the creativity of faculty and staff; and
  4. Support sharing of instructional materials and resources among faculty and staff.


This policy covers all types of intellectual property and applies to other types not listed here, regardless of whether they are protected by patent, copyright, trade secret, or other law. The following examples are not exhaustive:
  1. Inventions;
  2. Discoveries;
  3. Trade secrets;
  4. Trade and service marks;
  5. Writings;
  6. Art works;
  7. Musical compositions and performances;
  8. Software;
  9. Literary works; and
  10. Architecture.


All College District employees are covered by this policy, as well as anyone using College District facilities under the supervision of College District personnel, including students.


Scholarly works are owned by their authors/creators if the author is a professional, faculty member, or student. Their scholarly works do not have to be disclosed to or reviewed by the institution. Scholarly works are usually protected by copyright rather than patent. Copyright protects works of authorship from the moment of their fixation in a tangible medium of expression, that is, instantly and automatically. As a result, the rigorous institutional review given to possibly patentable inventions is unnecessary to protect an interest in copyright works.


In the majority of cases, the owner, whether the College District or an employee, shall retain all royalties or other benefits from any commercialization of the intellectual property with the following are exceptions:
  1. An employee owner shall share benefits with the College District from commercializing a College District invention released to the employee or if the work embodying the intellectual property required significant resource contributions from the College District to create or develop the intellectual property. In this case, the parties shall execute an agreement regarding the sharing arrangement before starting the project that will result in creation of the intellectual property.
  2. The College District shall share royalties from commercialization of intellectual property it owns if the work is an invention, discovery, trade secret, trade or service mark, or software, regardless of how protected.
If an employee/creator was hired specifically or required to create the intellectual property or the work was commissioned by the College District, the royalty-sharing provisions of this policy shall not apply, and the owner (the College District) shall retain all benefits from commercialization.


Intellectual property includes works protected by copyright, patent, trade secret, and other laws, but all intellectual property is not handled in the same way. Scholarly works are handled differently from inventions, discoveries, and ideas because concerns about protecting them are different.