Patent and Copyright Committee


Committee Membership, 1998-1999

Jane Olsgaard, Thomas Cooper Library, Chair

Beth Bilderback, Thomas Cooper Library

Arthur Cohen, Geological Sciences

L. Allan James, Geography

Victor Giurgiutiu, Engineering

Ramesh Tripathi, Medicine (resigned)

Louis Terracio, Medicine (appointed March 8, 1999)

Sally Young, Legal (appointed)

Ardis Savory, SPAR (appointed)

Bill Littlejohn, OTT (appointed - retired)

Dan Antion, OTT (appointed February 1, 1999)

Committee Activities:

The committee dealt with twenty-seven disclosures during the 1998/99 year from ten departments on the Columbia campus. This is an increase in both the number and departments submitting disclosures during 1997/98. Disclosures are submitted by any faculty, staff, student, or employee of the University who "has a new invention, e.g., discovery, computer program, process, method, use or combination, whether patentable or not, or a University-commissioned copyrightable work" to the chair of this committee via the Office of Technology Transfer. The disclosure process works to protect the intellectual property of the individual by establishing a time frame for ownership. The Committee makes a recommendation to the Provost about the category and equity distribution for each disclosure as set out in the Faculty Manual.

The committee devoted several meetings to discussing how to best get information about the process of disclosure to the faculty and staff who are developing and working with new discoveries every day. The committee looked at various ways to increase the visibility of the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) and the role the Patent and Copyright Committee could play. This winter Dr. Marsha Torr, Vice Provost for Research appointed Mr. Bill Littlejohn, recently retired associate director of the OTT, as a tech transfer liaison. It will be his job to guide faculty through the negotiation process of transferring faculty ideas and inventions to the commercial sector for product development. Disclosure to the Patent and Copyright Committee is one of the first steps in this process. The Committee is very pleased about this appointment. This position fills the need of one-on-one interaction with the researcher that we, as a committee felt was needed at the University.

At the General Faculty Meeting, April 29, 1999 several changes were voted on that will affect faculty committees. The Patent and Copyright Committee will see two major changes. The name of the committee will be changed from Patent and Copyright Committee to the Intellectual Property Committee. This name change reflects the University and the Committee's desire to work with the faculty, staff, and students under the wider range of intellectual property matters, still including patent and copyright. The makeup of the committee will also change slightly. There will continue to be six elected faculty members and three members appointed by the President. The new committee member will be the Director of the Office of Technology Transfer, or a representative of that office, and will serve as an ex officio member to the committee. All changes are awaiting approval by the Board of Trustees.

The Committee will maintain close communication with the Office of Technology Transfer and Vice Provost for Research as new leadership in these two areas is announced. The Committee will continue to act as an advocate for all University employees while addressing intellectual property under the leadership of the next committee chair, L. Allan James.

Respectfully submitted,

Jane K. Olsgaard, Chair




This page updated 23 August 1999 by the Office of the Faculty Senate,
and copyright 1999, The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.