Intellectual Property Policy

Effective January 1, 2013

The mission of the Great Lakes Protection Fund (hereinafter “Fund”) is to identify, demonstrate, and promote regional action to enhance the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. This mission is accomplished, in part, by investing in leaders and projects that put innovative ideas into action.

Inventions, copyrightable works, and other creative products of supported projects that have the potential to benefit the Great Lakes ecosystem through practical application may result from activities sponsored by the Fund. The purpose of the Intellectual Property Policy (hereinafter “IP Policy”) is to provide necessary incentives and protections to encourage discovery of new knowledge, development of new technology, and application and transfer of this knowledge and technology for the benefit of the Great Lakes ecosystem. In so doing, the Fund is guided by the following goals:

  • To optimize the environment for research, scholarship, discovery of new knowledge, creation of new technology, and development of innovative approaches that benefit the Great Lakes ecosystem;
  • To maximize, enhance, and preserve the mission of the Fund and to cultivate the intellectual and social capital needed to improve the health of the Great Lakes; and
  • To recognize and protect the interests of the public in the Great Lakes region by facilitating efficient and effective application of the novel concepts, inventions, and innovative approaches of Fund sponsored efforts.

In support of these goals:

1.  The Fund shall have the option of retaining ownership, in whole or in part, of any invention, and acquiring rights to any copyrightable work or other creative product arising from financial support provided by the Fund. At a minimum, the Fund will retain a royalty-free, permanent license to use the invention and related property as well as a share of revenues generated.

2.  All financing agreements (grants, loans, or equity) shall incorporate language that implements this IP Policy, including conditions that require notice of any invention, copyrightable work, scholarly copyrightable work, or other protectable property as soon as possible but in no case later than 30 days after its completion.

3.  The Fund may consult external experts to identify protectable innovations and designate a representative to act for it with respect to this IP Policy.

4.  The Fund may designate a representative to act for it in any respect hereunder.

5.  Creators of Fund Intellectual Property shall execute legal documents required to effect this IP Policy.

6.  Funding recipients may negotiate a license to Fund Intellectual Property and related property rights upon identification of an invention or protectable interest.

7.  This Memorandum may be amended or rescinded, in whole or in part, at any time by the Board of Directors of the Fund.

Return to Funding Guidelines page.