Intellectual Property Policies: Effects on Senior Design Capstone Courses

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Intellectual Property Policies: Effects on Senior Design Capstone Courses. Gary H. Brandenburger, D.Sc. Director Entrepreneurial & MBA/MS-BME Programs Adjunct Professor Biomedical Engineering Chih-Mao Hsieh, PhD Monami Chakrabarti, BA, MA Stuart Rosenberg, BS, MS. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Intellectual Property Policies: Effects on Senior Design Capstone Courses

  • Intellectual Property Policies:

    Effects on Senior Design Capstone CoursesGary H. Brandenburger, D.Sc.Director Entrepreneurial & MBA/MS-BME ProgramsAdjunct Professor Biomedical Engineering

    Chih-Mao Hsieh, PhDMonami Chakrabarti, BA, MAStuart Rosenberg, BS, MS

  • Our Goals for Senior Design Course ImprovementBetter prepare students for actual engineering practice and first job in industry Teach and encourage entrepreneurism Improve students employability Exceed ABET requirements

  • 3 Simple HypothesesInvolving students in intellectual property issues and activities is vital to experiencing the design process Real-life engineering projects from industry provide some of the most valuable design course experiences Many (most?) of the valuable real-life engineering projects are intertwined with issues of intellectual property

  • Real-life engineering projects are intertwined with issues of intellectual property

    IntellectualPropertyBest ProjectsNew InventionsExisting InventionsTrade SecretsMarket ResearchCorporateIP Policies

  • Can of WormsIntellectualPropertyBest Projects+University Policy=

  • Pilot Study DesignSurvey leading colleges and universities Poll senior design instructors Assess multiple departments at some schools Use standardized questionnaire administered by phone

  • What Well Discuss TodayInitial phase of survey data collection done Focus on subset of questions Highlights of preliminary results Possible conclusions

  • University IP Policy IssuesAre undergraduate students allowed to: sign confidentiality agreements? sign agreements assigning IP rights? own IP they invent without faculty co-invention? sign IP agreements with the faculty or industry sponsors of their design project?

  • University IP Policy IssuesIndustry sponsored design projects: Does university assert ownership of IP created as part of the design project? What limits does the University place on confidentiality? Should faculty contribute to potentially patentable inventions or avoid involvement?

  • Preliminary ResultsInterviewed 48 instructors at 28 universities All instructors very supportive of study Universal interest in seeing results Study touched on numerous hot buttons

  • Hot ButtonsNondisclosure agreements (NDAs) Allow/Offer/Promote industry sponsored projects? Encourage students to create patentable inventions? Who owns the patent rights? and many more

  • Nondisclosure agreements (NDAs)Totals from interviews21 courses at 16 universities actively use NDAs2 Universities prohibit NDAs (Not universally enforced)4 Instructors discourage NDAs3 Instructors don't know university NDA policy8 courses at 7 universities allow but do not need3 courses at 2 universities allow but rarely need

    Informal poll: >15 other universities use NDAs

  • Industry sponsored projects?5 courses at 4 universities have ONLY industry sponsored projects 15 courses at 13 universities have 1/3 or more projects from industry sponsors 13 courses at 11 universities have a mix of industry and other sponsored projects 2 courses at 2 universities have a small but growing number of industry sponsored projects 11 courses at 10 universities allow industry and/or students to retain all IP rights

  • Industry sponsored projects or not?7 courses at 7 universities handle IP rights on a case by case basis 5 courses at 4 universities have few projects from industry sponsors 8 courses at 5 universities have NO industry sponsored projects 14 courses at 11 universities: no IP has resulted from company sponsored projects yet or instructors dont know who would have IP rights if it did 4 universities retain all IP rights for industry sponsored projects

  • What Instructors Tell UsThey promote industry sponsored projects because this offers students: Most realistic, challenging design experienceProtected environment to learnOpportunity to interact with industry design teamsIndustry-standard design review and feedbackTeaches students how to deal with IP and to negotiate with companyIncreased likelihood of job with industry sponsors after graduateAdvantage in seeking the best jobs after graduation

  • What Instructors Tell UsThey promote industry sponsored projects because this offers students: Most realistic, challenging design experienceProtected environment to learnOpportunity to interact with industry design teamsIndustry-standard design review and feedbackTeaches students how to deal with IP and to negotiate with companyIncreased likelihood of job with industry sponsors after graduateAdvantage in seeking the best jobs after graduation

  • What Instructors Tell UsThey disallow or limit the number of industry sponsored projects because: NDAs prohibited or discouragedVague or ambiguous university IP policyToo difficult or time consuming due to lack of legal and logistic supportno standard contracts, must negotiate each anewuniversity takes too long to negotiate & approve contractsneed to cultivate & maintain industry relationshipsJust dont believe in industry sponsored projectsFear dealing with possible inventions

  • Wave of the Future: Multi-Disciplinary Capstone CoursesOffered at three universities Two support teams with students from all engineering departments One offers cross-campus design teams Students experience diverse teamsbusiness, management, legal, marketing, art , social work and other engineering disciplineslike actual product development teams in industry

  • Wave of the Future: Multi-Semester Capstone CoursesOptional first or optional second semester Sequence of courses starting in freshman, sophomore or junior years Time and opportunity to construct prototypes

  • Wave of the Future: Industry Sponsor Financial SupportGrant or fee to cover teams actual expensesteams use of university facilities Support ranges from $500 - $50K per project May or may not be tied to specific project

  • Advantages of Industry Sponsor Financial SupportBasis for university waiving IP rights Sufficient funds to cover teams prototyping expenses At some universities underwrites senior design facility with:Support staff and techniciansIndustry relations staffManufacturing Machine shopElectronics labCAD facility

  • Stay Tuned for Further Developments!Decide whether to interview additional instructors and universities Complete study and data analyses Send white paper to participating instructors, request updated information Submit journal article

  • What interdisciplinary work is done? How do students collaborate with people in other fields?Who submits ideas for design projects? (Check all that apply)Students generate their own ideasFaculty who are involved with determining the students gradesOther Faculty or researchers or university employee inventors who do influence the gradeOther Faculty or researchers or university employee inventors not involved with gradingIndustry partners who have an ongoing collaboration on the design course (multiple projects over multiple years)Industry-initiated university project that gets included in design course (occasional project)Other: Dont know

  • What interdisciplinary work is done? How do students collaborate with people in other fields?

    If a student develops his or her own idea for a class, and the idea results in a patentable invention, does university have a policy regarding students rights to ownership in IP to which they materially contributed? Check which apply:Students must assign all rights under standard policy upon entering the UniversityStudents must assign all rights upon entering the courseStudent rights handled on case-by-case basis (Student assignment of rights dealt with only upon creation of IP in the course)If yes, can you describe briefly what issues you have faced and how you dealt with them when individual cases do arise?There is no policy at allStudents retain all rights (who owns the invention? Be aware that many students/professors think that the inventor is the owner so the issue is clearer if we ask if inventors must assign their ownership rights to the University or other entity.)Other (explain)

  • What interdisciplinary work is done? How do students collaborate with people in other fields?

    How do you protect IP (includes any form of information, not just patentable inventions) associated with the class?Sign agreement covering confidentiality and non-disclosure upon entering classSign such agreement on a case-by-case basisNever sign such agreementsNo policy regarding confidentialityOtherTo whom do these agreements pertain? (e.g. between individual students and the university, among students in the class, etc)

  • How are issues handled when academics conflict with innovation?Has your university encountered any situations where the students or the design course's academic objectives might be compromised by the experiential nature of the course? Consider four specific situations: Students getting paid in conjunction with the courseUnfairness, real or perceived, regarding the students level of participation or value of experience throughout the project Students' managing effectively the time spent on the design course versus time left for the students other coursesStudent IP ownershipBias, real or perceived, in the grading as a result of IP or financial outcomes What does your university do to assure that students gain educational experience from a project and are not used as "labor" valued primarily for their prior skills to earn a grade? How has this affected policies? How pleased are you with your current policy?works well, no changes neededworks reasonably well, needs minor changesworks but need significant improvementdoesnt work at all Are there any other comments