George Mason University      
Patenting University Inventions Policy


The official University policy on Patenting University Inventions is located at


November 12, 2007
To: Suzanne W. Slayden, Chair, Faculty Senate
From:      Barry W. Stevens, Director, Research Policy Development
Subject:  University Policy on Patenting University Inventions

This memorandum transmits a proposed university policy on patenting university inventions for the review of the Faculty Senate.  The committee that developed the policy has, by consensus, endorsed its contents and recommended that it be adopted by the university.  In addition, the members of the newly-constituted Intellectual Property Committee were provided the opportunity to review the policy and discuss it with their colleagues prior to its being finalized.  The policy was approved by the Deans and Directors with two minor modifications at their meeting of November 8.  

The members of the policy development committee were the following:

Matt Kluger, Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Vikas Chandhoke, Dean, College of Science
Danny Menasce, Associate Dean, Volgenau School of Information
Technology and Engineering                   
Ken Hintz, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
John Crockett, Professor, Finance
Jennifer Murphy, Director, Office of Technology Transfer
Tom Moncure, University Counsel

I chaired the committee and served as facilitator, researcher, and drafter.

A revised policy on patenting university inventions is needed to replace the university’s current policy, which was adopted over two decades ago, on July 30, 1987.  Among the principal features of the new policy are the following: 

  1. The policy states the university’s commitment to encouraging the making of patentable inventions, the successful commercialization of those inventions, the equitable allocation of income from commercialization, and the protection of the rights of patent holders.
  1. It provides guidance to the university community on how to secure patent protection for inventions and how inventions can be commercialized.
  1. It clarifies the rights of ownership in inventions made at the university by participants in sponsored research, employees, students, and others, and harmonizes the ownership provisions of the patent policy with those of the copyright policy approved by the Board of Visitors on May 9.
  1. It revises provisions for the allocation of royalties and other income from inventions owned by the university to direct fifty percent of net income to the inventor, ten percent to the inventor’s employing unit, and the remainder to George Mason Intellectual Properties, Inc.
  1. It conforms the university’s patent policy to Virginia law.

We would appreciate receiving any advice the Senate deems appropriate as soon as possible so that our policy on this important subject can be sent to the Board of Visitors for adoption.



  Faculty Senate Home