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Intellectual Property Toolkit

Gannon University Intellectual Property Guideline cover imageGannon Intellectual Property Policies

The following Copyright and Patent information has been taken from the 2019 update of Gannon Intellectual Property Policies with links to the current IPM. A copy of the updated IPM content is provided in the Word document. The PDF document is Gannon University Intellectual Property Guideline, authored by the Gannon University Intellectual Property Office (GUIPO)

The current version of Gannon University's IPM can be found within the Gannon Portal


As noted in section, of the Gannon University IPM:

A copyright protects any ''original works of authorship'' which have been fixed in any tangible medium from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.  These works include:

  1. Literary works such as books, journals, articles, poems, manuals, memoranda, tests, including instructional material, bibliographies and compilations;
  2. Musical works including any accompanying words;
  3. Dramatic works, including any accompanying music;
  4. Pantomimes and choreographic works (if fixed, as in videotape);
  5. Pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, including photographs, diagrams, sketches and integrated circuit masks;
  6. Motion pictures and other audiovisual works such as videotapes;
  7. Sound recordings.
  8. Computer programs, software, and databases;
  9. Architectural works, including maps and architectural plans.

IPM sections relating to Copyright and Ownership

  • Section, - General Policy Statements 
  • Section, - Institutional Works
  • Section, 2.7.3    - Works for Hire
  • Section, - Student Policies
  • Section, - Faculty Policies
  • Section, - Staff Policies
  • Section, - Use of University Resources
  • Section, - Policy Regarding Online Courses and Technology-Based Material


A patent is a legal document issued by a government giving that gives the owner (who is not necessarily the inventor) the right to exclude others from making, selling or using the invention within a country.  An invention is patentable if it is new, useful, and non-obvious as determined by the applicable Patent Office – in the United States that is the United States Patent and Trademark Office (''USPTO'').  In the United States, an invention becomes unpatentable unless a formal patent application is filed with the USPTO within 12 months of disclosure through publication or public use of the invention.  Other countries are stricter and will find the invention unpatentable if a formal patent application has not been filed prior to any disclosure.  This means that if foreign patent protection is desired, a U.S. application must be filed before any public disclosure of the invention is made.
(Gannon University IPM section,

Patentability (section,

Not all inventions are patentable.  The Atomic Energy Act of 1954 excludes the patenting of inventions useful solely in the utilization of special nuclear material or atomic energy for atomic weapons.  The courts have held that the laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable subject matter.

The patent law specifies that the subject matter must be ''useful.''  To be ''useful'' the subject matter must have a useful purpose and must also be operable or perform a function.  A machine which will not operate to perform the intended purpose is not considered useful, and would not be eligible for a patent.  The utility requirement is generally not at issue during patent prosecution.

A patent cannot be obtained upon a mere idea or suggestion.  The patent is granted for the new process, composition, machine, manufacture, etc., but not upon the idea or suggestion of the new process or machine.  A complete description of the actual machine or other subject matter for which a patent is sought is required.  Accurate drawings are extremely important. 

For more information regarding Gannon Patent Policies please refer to the provided Word document or visit the IPM Sections:

  • Section, - Conditions for Obtaining a Patent 
  • Section, 2.7.4 - Invention Disclosures
  • Section, Ownership Provisions
  • Section, 2.7.5 - Licensing and Royalties
  • Section, 2.7.3 - Works for Hire
  • Section, - Use of University Resources