September 19-20, 2002
ITEM 116-1004-R0902 Approval of University System/Employee Joint Venture; The University of Montana-Missoula
THAT: In accordance with Montana University System Policy 407, the Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes The University of Montana-Missoula to enter into a licensing arrangement for intellectual property developed by University employees Michael G. Dreesman and Shawn Peterson of Eagle Eye Productions.
EXPLANATION: The University of Montana holds a contract with the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), “Lewis and Clark Trail, Intelligent Transportation System Kiosk System,” part of which calls for generating videotapes of certain areas of the Trail. The videography uses equipment and techniques suitable for High Definition Television (HD TV), although the contract calls for only Standard Definition Television (SD TV) quality. The contract gives ownership of the videotapes to the University; however, the University will grant MDT and the Federal Highway Administration a royalty-free license to use the SD TV videotapes.
University employees Michael G. Dreesman, Senior Videographer, and Shawn Peterson, Project Manager, created the videotapes; the University owns the copyright. Dreesman and Peterson have formed a company, Eagle Eye Productions, and wish to license the HD TV tape copyright rights developed for the Kiosk Project. Granting Eagle Eye Productions this license will not interfere with any contractual obligations the University holds with MDT but will provide a business opportunity for a Montana-based company owned by two University employees.
The license, perpetual and worldwide, will contain provisions for The University of Montana to receive a five to ten percent royalty, based on a percentage of gross revenues realized from commercial applications. The license will contain a standard diligence clause stating that The University of Montana may terminate if Eagle Eye Productions does not proceed in a timely fashion to exploit commercially the rights granted in the license. The University anticipates no more than $2,000 annually from this agreement, although future agreements may result from other products.
Granting this license will encourage Dreesman and Peterson to develop the company as a new, profitable Montana venture and will set an example for other entrepreneurs from the University looking for opportunities for commercial use of their innovations and creations. The University will incur no cost for this agreement, and no expectations of large financial returns exist. This agreement will assist in the formation and growth of a new small business for Montana and will establish goodwill with University employees.