In the process of conducting research, personnel at the University are often requested to conduct "research-related services” for an outside company. The provision of such services fits with the research and service missions of the University when: 1) the University is uniquely qualified to offer such special "services"; 2) those services provide additional research and experience for the University's faculty, staff, and students; and 3) access to those services or specialized equipment is not readily available through private industry means. These services may include the utilization of specialized expertise of the faculty or specialized instrumentation that may be offered to the company. Quite often, this will include testing of certain materials for the outside company (sponsor).
It is the policy of Texas State University to protect and retain title to intellectual property developed by its faculty and staff. Contracts and research agreements will be reviewed and IP language evaluated to ensure compliance with federal, state and university policy.
Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
Prior to exchanging information with a potential partner an NDA should be signed by all persons involved. The NDA is a simple, mutual agreement that protects each party by laying the ground rules for the sharing of information.
License agreements outline the rights and responsibilities of the parties to the agreement with respect to payment of royalties, use restrictions, milestones, etc. for copyrighted, patented or trademarked materials.
Material Transfer Agreements (MTA)
A material transfer agreement should be executed when the parties to the agreement are exchanging physical materials, biological samples, proprietary computer data or software.
The MTA is a binding agreement that defines intellectual property rights and ownership of the material being exchanged. The MTA also serves to notify University Compliance offices of any regulatory standards that may need to be implemented.
Sponsored Research Agreements
This is usually in the form of a full contract document that outlines a specific scope of work to be performed, a timeline with milestones for payment, payment terms, and intellectual property rights.