Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Arising Out of the Use of Foundation Funds


Foundation grants often result in tangible products, such as reports, papers, research, data sets, books, film or television documentaries, or radio programs (“Grant Work Product”). This Policy addresses the ownership, use, copyright to, and distribution of the Grant Work Product by balancing the interests of the Foundation with the interests of the grantee and other interested parties. The Foundation is cognizant that fast-evolving technological advances are impacting the manner and method by which knowledge in whatever form can be protected and distributed and the Foundation will evaluate this policy in light of experience.


The Foundation's policy is to ensure that the Grant Work Product furthers charitable purposes and benefits the public. To that end, the Foundation seeks prompt and broad dissemination of the Grant Work Product at minimal cost or, when justified, at a reasonable cost.

The Foundation encourages openness in research and freedom of access to underlying data by persons with a serious interest in the research. Grantees are also encouraged to explore opportunities to use existing and emerging internet distribution models and, when appropriate, open access journals, Creative Commons license or similar mechanisms that result in broad access for the interested field and public.

The Foundation recognizes there may be circumstances where limited or delayed dissemination of Grant Work Product or limited access to data may be appropriate to protect legitimate interests of the grantee, other funders, principal investigators or participants in research studies. Such circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Intellectual property rights (including copyright and patent rights) should not be used to limit or deny access to the Grant Work Product, to result in exclusive use of such Grant Work Product, or to create revenue that is not used for charitable purposes. While copyright to the Grant Work Product will ordinarily remain with the grantee, the Foundation will require that it be granted a no-cost assignable license to use or publish the Grant Work Product. The Foundation will exercise the license only if the grantee does not or cannot provide for broad and prompt dissemination consistent with this Policy. The Foundation may forego a license if the Foundation is reasonably satisfied that other appropriate arrangements will be implemented that will assure prompt public dissemination of the Grant Work Product.

In all instances, the Foundation will agree to suitable terms at the time a grant is made based on the facts to ensure the objectives of the policy are met while respecting appropriate interests of others.

This Policy is effective September 18, 2008.