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Re: Contract wording Ross, Stuart 01 Apr 1998 19:21 EST

Here are some suggestions:

1)  The problem here is primarily with the concept of "owning" the data
and information,  and secondarily with the definition of data and
information.  Owning can mean physical possession -- does the sponsor
want all notebooks, computer sheets, etc., actually returned?  Think
about specifying what happens to the physical items.  Owning also means
the right to use -- can the PI use the data for teaching purposes, or
for publication of the nonproprietary portions?  If the material is
publishable, such as a report, who will own the copyright?  Each of
these avenues can be explored in different degrees of fussiness, but
keeping the concepts separate to begin with will help the discussion.
Depending on the situation, someone might want to list the relevant
forms of data and information -- computer printouts, notes, logs,
publications, working models, reports, etc......

2)  Usually it helps these pre-publication disagreements to specify what
valid reasons there might be for the sponsor to delay or revise.  Often
the reason is to allow the filing of patent applications, or to remove
proprietary/confidential information.  Specifying such valid reasons
then lessens the worry that the sponsor would delay publication just
because the conclusion of the report is uncomfortable.  Also, there
probably should be a maximum time given to the sponsor for making
revisions.  And if you really are dealing with worriers, there might
have to be a discussion about what "disclosure" means.  Unless this
really is very hot intellectual property, where accidental partial
disclosures are worrisome, the relevant actions usually are "submission"
or "presentation".

Stuart A. Ross
California State University, Fullerton

> -----Original Message-----
> Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 1998 10:24 AM
> To:   Multiple recipients of list RESADM-L
> Subject:      Contract wording
> Hi all--
> We are helping negotiate a contract between some faculty members and
> an external sponsor.  The working relationship is amiable and all
> parties want to achieve a mutual and beneficial agreement.
> As is not unusual, there are a couple of stumbling blocks - ownership
> of the data and publication rights.  I have looked at notes from
> workshops and talked with other people about alternate wordings, but
> am still not convinced I have found exactly what is needed and
> acceptable.
> Suggestions for wording for the two points below would be
> welcome from anyone on this listserv.
> 1. "Upon termination or expiration of this Agreement, Sponsor shall
> own all data and information generated by the research ...."
> 2. (re: publications) "...Principal Investigator shall have furnished
> Sponsor with a copy of the proposed disclosure at least thirty (30)
> days before actual disclosure and Sponsor shall have returned written
> approval to Institution approving the proposed disclosure.  Upon
> Sponsor's request, Principal Investiagor shall delay public
> disclosure to accommodate Sponsor's recommendations and/or revisions
> relative to the proposed disclosure.  At the request of Sponsor, the
> Principal Investigator shall agree to further delay public disclosure
> in order to permit the prepartion of a revised disclosure, if
> necessary.
> Responses can come back through the listserv or to me directly.
> Thanks for your help.
> Chuck Howard
> University of Northern Colorado Research Corporation