Breaking New Ground with UNH’s Creative Works

Breaking New Ground with UNH’s Creative Works

Aug 30, 2012

Creative Works is a sometimes-overlooked area at educational institutions with strong technology-based research programs. Generally, a creative work is one that results in a piece of artwork, literature, music, curriculum, evaluation tool, or software being developed. Faculty, staff, and students at UNH are regularly developing Creative Works. ORPC has placed a new focus on this area of scholarship and looks at the best way to protect, manage, and deliver innovative Creative Works to the public.

Intellectual Property Protection: Copyrights and Trademarks

There is great value in the intellectual property (IP) developed at educational institutions, from technologies to Creative Works, and it is important to protect that IP. When it comes to Creative Works, there are two predominant forms of IP protection: copyrights and trademarks.

Copyright

In most cases, a Creative Work is copyright protected once the work is “put in a tangible form.” “Put in a tangible form” can simply mean that the original idea is put onto paper. This copyright protection is a common law protection. While copyright notices are no longer required under U.S. law and in many countries around the world, we recommend use of the copyright notice simply to do just want it says, give notice that the creator/owner treats the Creative Work as his or her intellectual property. A proper copyright notice should include the copyright symbol, ©, the year the idea was put into tangible form and the owner/Author of the copyrighted work, i.e., © 2012 The University of New Hampshire.  If you’re interested in filing a copyright application with the U.S. Copyright Office please contact me for more information on how this can be done.

Trademark

Trademarks are another area of IP protection that can be associated with Creative Works and can offer a great value if used properly. Similar to copyrights, one can gain common law rights in a trademark simply by using a term or phrase as a trademark and by adding the ™ to the trademark. In order to use the ® symbol, the trademark must have gained registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). The ORPC is responsible for filing trademark applications with the USPTO for UNH. For more information about trademarks, see http://www.uspto.gov/ and http://tinyurl.com/8qtzmyh

By addressing trademarks and copyrights, ORPC is developing a way to protect and package Creative Works to preserve both the integrity of the work and the research that developed the work. These Creative Works packages can be licensed to other educational institutions, organizations, and businesses both nationally and internationally, offering a legitimate research-based product that is rarely explored and can be shared by so many.

Real World Application of a Creative Works Package

The Courage to Care™ anti-bullying curriculum is an example of a groundbreaking research-based and -tested Creative Works packaged program developed at UNH. Dr. Malcolm Smith, Dr. Rick Alleva, and Thom Linehan of the UNH Cooperative Extension, along with Jeff Frigon of the Browne Center have developed a breakthrough curriculum that focuses on increasing empathy and care for others in an effort to reduce bullying and meanness. On behalf of UNH I have taken a number of steps to maximize intellectual property protection of this program. We filed trademark applications for the Courage to Care™ program and the “C to C” Logo used in connection with the program. Additionally, we protect the program materials through a license for those school districts and related organizations trained in the program. We were excited to support Malcolm Smith and his team just this month during the program’s premier training session of middle school educators and subsequent licensing to a number of school districts in New Hampshire. This training and licensing session is the first of many to come with this program alone. Be sure to look forward to many more, and please do not hesitate to contact me at timothy.willlis@unh.edu with questions about UNH’s Creative Works programs.

For more information about the Courage to Care™ program - http://courage2care.com/

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