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Policy 7060 - Royalties

The purpose of this policy is to establish provisions which encourage employees to use their professional expertise for developing materials, processes, or inventions, and to provide for the equitable allocation of royalties and other ownership rights.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education recognizes the right of, and encourages, Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) employees to produce materials, processes, and inventions apart from their employment with the HCPSS. Depending upon the circumstances, royalties for such materials, processes or inventions may be paid to the employee or to an approved charity.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish provisions which encourage employees to use their professional expertise for developing materials, processes, or inventions, and to provide for the equitable allocation of royalties and other ownership rights.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Approved Charity – Any charity recognized as legitimate for federal tax purposes by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

  2. Payment of Account (pro rata) – An HCPSS employee’s share of net profits on sales of materials, processes or inventions to the HCPSS by a company in which the employee has a 3% or more ownership interest.

  3. Royalty – A percentage payment on gross sales to an author or producer by a company or producer of materials, processes or inventions.

IV. Standards

  1. The Board encourages employees, on their own time and apart from their employment with the HCPSS, to research, author, or produce materials, processes, or inventions. The Board also recognizes the right of employees to own business interests in companies which produce such materials.

  2. The Board retains the rights to all materials, processes, or inventions produced by HCPSS employees on HCPSS time or as part of their duties. In this situation, the Board reserves the right to copyright or patent these materials in its name and to otherwise exercise ownership rights, including royalty rights, regarding these materials.

    In a situation where the activity is performed partially on private time and partially on Board time, or using Board resources, the employee must apprise the Superintendent’s Designee in advance and obtain prior permission to use Board time or resources. If the activity is approved, the respective rights of ownership between the employee and the Board will be addressed in a written agreement. If there is no such agreement, the rights of ownership shall belong to the Board.

  3. Materials authored or produced by employees may be purchased by the HCPSS if they are approved for purchase according to standard evaluation and selection procedures for those items.

  4. An employee may not participate in the evaluation or procurement of materials, processes, or inventions wholly or partially produced by the employee, spouse, domestic partner, parent, or child.

  5. An employee who receives royalties or compensation on the sale of materials, resources, or inventions to the HCPSS, must donate royalties and/or net pro rata profits to an approved charity if

    1. The sale of the materials, resources, or inventions exceeds $7,500 annually, or

    2. The employee receives a pro rata share of payment of account on sales of materials, resources, or inventions in excess of $7,500 annually.

    The amount that is to be donated is the royalties and/or net pro rata profits on any sales in excess of $7,500.

  6. Any employee who chooses not to comply with the foregoing requirements may request of the Superintendent/Designee that his or her materials not be purchased by the HCPSS. Such requests will be honored.

  7. An employee may not use Board property or personnel in preparing materials for personal distribution or use unrelated to the school system.

  8. Any employee found in violation of this policy shall be subject to employee discipline as outlined in Policy 7030 - Employee Conduct and Discipline.

V. Compliance

Employees are responsible to only collect royalties for materials, processes and inventions created apart from their employment with the HCPSS or as set forth in a written agreement with the Superintendent/Designee under Standard B.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop appropriate procedures to implement this policy.

VIII. History

APPROVED: May 5, 1970

AMENDED: November 20, 1990, April 16, 2009

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2009