Office of Technology Commercialization

MSU Software Policy in Plain English

Software development has become an integral part of many research programs and questions arise from time to time as to the authorship of the software and its implications for disclosure and copyright registration. These issues are discussed in MSU's Intellectual Property Policy - a "Plain English" interpretation is shown below. For the official version, please review the IP Policy.

Ownership: MSU owns the copyright to all software created:
A. Under grants or contracts with federal agencies and most other sponsors; or
B. As a result of an assigned University effort or commission; or
C. With Substantial Use of university resources; or
D. For research and educational use in the laboratories and classrooms of MSU.

Authorship:In these situations, the creation of the software is considered to be "work for hire" and the copyright registration with the Library of Congress will list MSU as the author.

Disclosure: To protect MSU's copyright, all such software with commercial potential should be disclosed to the Office of Technology Management prior to publication or distribution to third parties by any means.