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The school district has all rights of ownership of materials or works produced by an employee during hours that the employee was paid by the district or in which the use of district supplies and/or equipment played a dominant role. The Board of Education reserves the right to federally register such materials or works and to license the use of such materials or works under any terms that the Board of Education deems advisable. The Board of Education directs the superintendent to develop administrative guidelines to implement this policy.

Ownership of Teacher-Developed Software

Many courts are considering programs (software) to be covered by copyright and/or patent laws; and, therefore, use existing statutes to resolve disputes.

In summary, the basic principles that govern ownership of ideas, inventions and discoveries (programs) of employees are:


1.       When an employee makes an invention or discovery within the scope of his or her employment, and he or she was "hired to invent" (employed to solve problems or think of the ideas underlying an invention or discovery), that invention belongs to the employer.


2.       When an employee makes an invention that is outside the scope of his or her employment, something he or she was not hired to do, but he or she uses equipment, labor, materials and/or facilities of the employer, that invention is owned by the employee subject to a shop right on the part of the employer. The shop right gives the employer a nonexclusive, irrevocable license to use the invention indefinitely, without paying a royalty.


3.       When an employee makes an invention working outside the scope of his or her employment and does not use his or her employer's resources, then the invention belongs to the employee and there is no shop right reserved to the employer.

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Note:  The reader is encouraged to check the index located at the beginning of this section for other pertinent policies and to review administrative procedures and/or forms for related information.


Adopted:      12/09/2004


Cross Refs:    EGAAA, Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials

EGAAB, Rights Related to Published Materials in Schools

St. Charles School District, St. Charles, Missouri


Link to Missouri Statutes

Link to Missouri Regulations

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For Office Use Only: GCQB-S.SC6


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