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Office of Research

Intellectual Property Advisory Committee

  • Committee Procedures

    I. NAME 
    Intellectual Property Advisory Committee


    A.  In concert with the University Policy on Patents and Copyrights and Guidelines for Implementation, the function of the Advisory Committee on Patents and Copyrights is to advise and assist the President in all matters involving patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Among its basic responsibilities in carrying out its purpose, the committee:

    1. Has the responsibility for implementing the University Policy on Patents and Copyrights and its Guidelines for Implementation.
    2. Recommends changes to the University Policy on Patents and Copyrights and its Guidelines for Implementation.
    3. Receives disclosures of inventions and copyrightable materials from faculty, staff, and students.
    4. Recommends whether or not the University should pursue an invention for Letters of Patent or to waive and assign rights to the inventor(s).
    5. Recommends whether or not the University should register copyrightable materials or waive and assign rights to the author.
    6. Recommends the percentage of income sharing with an inventor or an author.
    7. Recommends whether or not inventions and copyrightable material(s) should be marketed.


    A.  The membership is appointed by the President of the University.

    1. Faculty - A minimum of one member from each college or school.
    2. Student - At least one undergraduate and one graduate student.
    3. Staff-A staff member experienced with intellectual property matters.
    4. Terms of Office - Members shall serve terms of three (3) years beginning at the time of appointment. Students shall serve a term of one (1) year beginning at the time of appointment. Appointments are to be effective at the beginning of the Fall Semester, and all members’ terms are subject to renewal at the discretion of the President.
    5. Vacancies - If a member is unable to continue service on the Committee, another member representing the same basic constituency shall be appointed by the President of the University to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
    6. Attendance at Meetings - If a member is unavoidably absent from a meeting, he/she may designate a representative to attend, provided the representative is someone from the same basic unit of the University as the regular member and that the Chairperson of the Committee is notified ahead of time as to who this representative would be and under what circumstances he/she would be attending the meeting. This representative shall exercise the rights and privileges of the member for whom he/she is attending; that is, the right to vote, the right to make motions, and the right to second motions.


    A.  Chairperson - The Chairperson shall be elected annually from the Committee membership. He/she shall:

    1. Preside at all meetings or designate another member to preside.
    2. Schedule regular meetings of the Committee.
    3. Prepare a tentative agenda for each meeting for distribution to members of the Committee at least three working days prior to regular meetings and one day prior to special meetings.
    4. Approve the draft minutes of the meetings for distribution to the members of the Committee for review and approval.
    5. Appoint special subcommittees as required.
    6. Call special meetings when necessary.
    7. Supervise the preparation and distribution of an Annual Report of the Committee's activities. 

    B.  Executive Officer - The President will appoint a staff member to serve as executive officer and resource person and to provide staff support services.


    A.  Regular meetings shall be scheduled at least once per semester during the regular academic year.

    B.  The Chairperson may call a special meeting when he/she deems such action necessary.

    C.  Items for inclusion in the tentative agenda of a regular meeting must be submitted to the Chairperson at least five working days prior to the meeting. Items for inclusion in the tentative agenda of a special meeting must be submitted to the Chairperson at least two working days prior to the meeting. Any member of the University community may submit tentative agenda items to the Chairperson.

    D.  A simple majority of the voting members shall constitute a quorum. If a quorum is not present, the meeting may proceed, but all discussion items requiring a vote, such as approval of minutes for the previous meeting, shall be sent to the full committee for balloting by mail.

    E.  The agenda shall be adopted at the beginning of each meeting by a majority vote of those present.

    F.  In any matter requiring a vote, the vote of each member present (except advisory members) shall be recorded equally.


    A.  No standing subcommittees are authorized.
    B.  Special subcommittees shall be appointed by the Chairperson as he/she shall deem necessary to carry on specific items of work of the Committee.


    A.  The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern committee meetings in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these procedures. Suspension of these rules may be effected by a majority of the voting members present.


    a.  These procedures can be amended at any regular meeting of the Committee by a two-thirds vote of the voting members present, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing to each member at least three (3) working days prior to the meeting. Amendments to Procedures are subject to final approval by the Administrative Council.


    a.  Actions of this Committee are subject to review and approval by the President or his designee.


    A.  These procedures shall become effective when approved by the Administrative Council.

    Date of this Revision: 1/19/16

    Date Approved by the Administrative Council: 1/27/16

    Effective January 27, 2016

  • Disclosure Procedures

    These guidelines define the procedures to be used by the Advisory Committee on Patents and Copyrights in implementing Tennessee Technological University's Policy dated March 11, 1998. 

    Patent Filing Process
    Graphical representation of the patent filing process

    Tennessee Technological University encourages continued discovery and innovation leading to inventions and production of copyrightable works by its faculty. The University has established an Advisory Committee on Patents and Copyrights for the purpose of advising the President on all matters involving patents and copyrights. Membership shall be composed of faculty, students, and staff experienced in research, innovation and the production of copyrightable materials. A majority of the membership shall be from the faculty. The university's goal is to facilitate the utilization of inventions and works for the benefit of faculty, the university, sponsors, and the public and to provide for an equitable sharing of income earned from successful commercialization.

    The potential commercial value of new intellectual property is uncertain, which can make it difficult to establish a fair amount to sell the property outright. Therefore, the university's approach is to license the intellectual property and collect royalties to more accurately reflect its realized value.

    Income from Intellectual Property
    Income from intellectual property shall be shared after deducting the costs of obtaining, licensing, defending and administering patents, trademarks and copyrights. The distribution of this net income between the university and the Inventor shall be: 

    1.The inventor(s)' share is 50 percent for patents and 50 percent for copyrights.

    2.The remaining 50 percent is divided as follows: 20 percent to the department(s) or unit(s) which sponsored the invention's development, 10 percent to the originating college(s), and 20 percent to the university's Patents and Copyrights Account maintained in the Office of Research.


    Assessment Procedures 

    1. Meetings
      The Committee shall meet as often as necessary to transact its business, but no less than once per semester.
    2. Documents
      The Committee shall develop the documents necessary for the pursuit of the patent, trademark and copyright process. The completed documents shall be submitted to the President or designee for approval.
    3. Disclosures
      The Committee, through its Chairperson, shall receive disclosures of inventions and copyrights from persons who are subject to Section 3.0 of the policy. The content of the disclosure document will be evaluated as to clarity, completeness and its applicability to Section 3.0 of the policy.
    4. Rights
      On receipt and acceptance of a disclosure document, the Committee will identify the source of support; that is, external funding, University funding and/or use of University facilities. The Committee Chairperson will request the inventor or person disclosing copyrightable materials to execute the Assignment of Rights document assigning all rights to the University and to the Tennessee Board of Regents in accordance with Section 7.0 of the policy. 
      1.  Significant Use
      a.  Computers
      b.  Faculty Research Fund
      c.  Library Loan Service
      2.  Copyrights
      The individual(s) developing copyrightable materials shall receive not less than 50 percent of the net income.
      3.  Patents
      The individual(s) disclosing the invention shall receive not less than 50 percent of the net income.
    5. Assessment
      Internal Review 
      The Committee will conduct an internal evaluation of the idea contained in the patent/copyright disclosure to determine if it appears valid and clearly presented. In this evaluation, assistance from committee members as well as from faculty, students, and staff of the University may be sought.
      a.  If the preliminary evaluation is positive, a determination will be made whether waivers or releases are needed to satisfy the requirements of the party or agency funding the project.
      b.  If the preliminary evaluation is negative, the disclosure will be returned to the submitting person with an explanation of the rejection. The disclosure may be reconsidered with new information or clarification of the original information. If it is resubmitted, then the Committee will proceed as if it were an original submittal
      External Review
      If the internal preliminary evaluation is positive and the appropriate waivers regarding the support source have been acquired, the disclosures may be sent to an organization or a patent attorney for the second level of evaluation. This level of evaluation is a cursory review by professionals in the appropriate area of the art to determine if the idea is possibly patentable.
    6. Recommendations
      After the Committee has completed its investigation, a report containing recommendations will be sent to the President or designee recommending
      a.  to pursue patent/copyright proceedings or
      b.  to return the disclosure to the inventor and waive all claims.
    7. Actions
      The President will indicate in a reasonable time whether or not the recommendations from the Committee are acceptable (or to be modified) and will give directions to the Committee for actions, if any, to be taken.
      a.  Committee
      If a patent/copyright application is to be initiated by the University, the Assignment of Rights document will be sent by the Chairperson to the President or designee for signature and approval of the royalty-sharing fee. If approved, the Chairperson will distribute copies to the inventor and other appropriate parties.
    8. Patent Application
      Within three (3) months after receiving the President's approval, the University will proceed with the application by either 
      a.  contracting with a patent attorney or
      b.  entering into an agreement with an evaluation and/or marketing individual or organization.
      c.  If the University chooses neither to file an application nor dedicate to the public an invention in which it holds property rights, the University will waive all rights and return materials to the inventor on request.
    9. Patent Marketing
      Within six (6) months after the date of issuance of the letters of patent, the University must demonstrate a commitment toward the commercial development of the invention. If a patent is to be licensed, the license agreement must be approved by both the inventor and the University. In the event that the University decides not to seek commercial development of the invention, the inventor may request a return of all rights.
    10. Copyright Application
      The Committee will proceed with the application either with internal or external assistance. The author has the right to choose the publisher.
    11. Financial
      Before entering into an agreement for patent or copyright application, the Committee will determine the availability of funds to pursue the application. If funds are not available, the Committee will return the disclosure and assignments document to the inventor.


    Patents and Copyrights Committee 11/20/97 
    Tennessee Tech Administrative Council 1/21/98 
    Tennessee Board of Regents 3/11 /98

  • Forms & Agreements

    Forms and agreements for intellectual property issues must be returned to the Office of Research in Derryberry Hall, Room 305.



    Please note: form accessibility may vary from browser to browser and among different operating systems. Follow the steps below to save the forms and submit them to the Office of Research. For form accessibility issues or troubleshooting, please contact Amy Hill at extension 3464 or

    1. Click the link for the form. If the form opens in your browser, choose the "Save" icon in the top right portion of your screen and save it as a file on your computer (Note: if you begin typing in the form from your browser, the information will not be saved. You must save the file to your computer). If the form downloads instead of opening in the browser, double-click the name and open it. Save the file from there to a location on your computer.

    2. Open the form in Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat (Note: varying versions of Reader may yield different results. If you have issues, please contact your ITS support person to ensure that you have the most up-to-date Reader).

    3. Fill in the form.

    4. After completing the form, choose File>Save As from the Adobe Acrobat Reader menu and save the file using a new name in a location you will be able to access later (Desktop, My Documents, etc.).

    5. Close the form.

    6. Create a new mail message and attach the recently saved file to the message. Submit the form to

    Note: if none of these steps work on your computer, please contact your ITS support person or print the file, hand-write your responses, and return it to the appropriate office or building as designated above.

    Tennessee Technological University, a public institution of higher education created by the laws of the State of Tennessee, is located at 1 William L. Jones Drive, Cookeville, TN 38505 (931-372-3101).Tennessee Tech collects the information you provide to it through its website’s portals, request for information forms, etc. for the purpose fulfilling its mission as required by Tennessee Code Annotated Section 49-8-101(d).Tennessee Tech may share the information you provide with contractors and state or federal authorities if required by law or if necessary to fulfill its stated mission.

    Tennessee Tech will store your personal data consistent with its policy on document retention, which can be accessed through the Policy Central portal on this website. If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (“EEA”) and have standing under the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016, you have the right (i) to request from Tennessee Tech access to and rectification or erasure of personal data or restriction of processing; (ii) to object to processing; (iii) to data portability and (iv) to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority in the EEA. 

    By providing personal data to Tennessee Tech, you consent to the processing of your data for the purposes described above.

  • Committee Members

    2021-2022 Members

     Name Classification  Campus Box No.   Email  Term Expires 
    Dr. Michael Adduci Faculty 5045 2022
    Mr. Michael Aikens Administrative 5103 2022
    Dr. Mike Allen  (Chair)      Faculty 5054 2023 
    Dr. Sean Alley Faculty  5083  2023
    Dr. Michael Best Faculty  5034   2024
    Dr. Alice Camuti Administrative 5012 2022
    Dr. Stephen Canfield Faculty 5014 2024
    Dr. Steve Frye Faculty  5176  2024
    Ms. Sharon Holderman Faculty 5066 2022
    Dr. Emily Lee Faculty  5001  2022
    Mr. Mark Lynam Administrative 5036 2022
    Ms. Ann Manginelli Faculty  5066   2024
    Dr. Tony Michael Faculty 5031 2022
    Dr. Manuel Villalba Faculty  5061  2024 
    Mr. Elijah Tidwell 2022
    Executive Officer to Provide Staff Support Services: Ms. Mary Karafonda, Interim Executive Officer,
    Director of Research Systems   
    Nonvoting Resource Person: Mr. Greg Holt      

  • Minutes

    Contact the Office of Research ( | (931) 372-3897) with your request to view minutes of the IPAC.  

  • Policy


    Policy on Intellectual Property 

    Exceptions to this Policy

    Exceptions are recommended as necessary by the committee for consideration by the President or the President's designee.

  • Invention Disclosures


    Intellectual Property Advisory Committee Members Only: Please click the following link to access the posted invention disclosures.

    Invention Disclosure SharePoint Site


    Non-enabling Intellectual Property Marketing Sheet Template

  • Funding

    • The Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment, or APEX, is an effort sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to provide entrepreneurial and academic researchers the best support possible during their pursuit for Air Force Small Business Innovation (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards by

      *  Providing 1-1 process navigation to researchers and entrepreneurs
      *  Presenting valuable information in cohort-only informational briefings
      *  Connecting researchers with entrepreneurs from all over the country and thereby
          increasing the odds for forming a successful partnership that will be attractive for
          SBIR/STTR funding
      *  Helping researchers and entrepreneurs keep abreast of continuing changes and new
          opportunities in the program

      For more information on the topics being funded, visit

      To find partners for STTR proposals, visit the link at

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