130th Ohio General Assembly
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(123rd General Assembly)
(Amended Substitute Senate Bill Number 286)



AN ACT
To amend section 3345.14 of the Revised Code to permit the board of trustees of a state college or university to establish rules that describe circumstances in which an employee of that institution may solicit or may be given a financial interest in any firm, corporation, or other association to which the board has assigned, licensed, transferred, or sold the institution's interest in discoveries, inventions, or patents resulting from research or investigation conducted at or by employees of the institution and to authorize the Ohio Ethics Commission to assist with the development of the rules.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1 .  That section 3345.14 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 3345.14.  (A) As used in this section, "state college or university" means any state university or college defined in division (A)(1) of section 3345.12 of the Revised Code, and any other institution of higher education defined in division (A)(2) of that section.

(B) All rights to and interests in discoveries or, inventions, including or patents thereon, which result from research or investigation conducted in any experiment station, bureau, laboratory, or research facility, or other facility of any state college or university, or by employees of any state college or university acting within the scope of their employment or with funding, equipment, or infrastructure provided by or through any state college or university, shall be the sole property of such that college or university. No person, firm, association, corporation, or governmental agency which uses the facilities of such college or university in connection with such research or investigation and no faculty member, employee, or student of such college or university participating in or making such discoveries or inventions, shall have any rights to or interests in such discoveries or inventions, including income therefrom, except as may, by determination of the board of trustees of such college or university, be assigned, licensed, transferred, or paid to such persons or entities in accordance with division (C) of this section or in accordance with rules adopted under division (D) of this section.

(C) As may be determined from time to time by the board of trustees of any state college or university, the college or university may retain, assign, license, transfer, sell, or otherwise dispose of, in whole or in part and upon such terms as the board of trustees may direct, any and all rights to, interests in, or income from any such discoveries, inventions, or patents which the college or university owns or may acquire. Such dispositions may be to any individual, firm, association, corporation, or governmental agency, or to any faculty member, employee, or student of the college or university as the board of trustees may direct. Any and all income or proceeds derived or retained from such dispositions shall be applied to the general or special use of the college or university as determined by the board of trustees of such college or university.

(D)(1) Notwithstanding any provision of the Revised Code to the contrary, including but not limited to sections 102.03, 102.04, 2921.42, and 2921.43 of the Revised Code, the board of trustees of any state college or university may adopt rules in accordance with section 111.15 of the Revised Code that set forth circumstances under which an employee of the college or university may solicit or accept, and under which a person may give or promise to give to such an employee, a financial interest in any firm, corporation, or other association to which the board has assigned, licensed, transferred, or sold the college or university's interests in discoveries or inventions made or created by that employee or in patents issued to that employee.

(2) Rules established under division (D)(1) of this section shall include the following:

(a) A requirement that each college or university employee disclose to the college or university board of trustees any financial interest the employee holds in a firm, corporation, or other association as described in division (D)(1) of this section;

(b) A requirement that all disclosures made under division (D)(2)(a) of this section are reviewed by officials designated by the college or university board of trustees. The officials designated under this division shall determine the information that shall be disclosed and safeguards that shall be applied in order to manage, reduce, or eliminate any actual or potential conflict of interest.

(c) A requirement that in implementing division (D) of this section all members of the college or university board of trustees shall be governed by Chapter 102. and sections 2921.42 and 2921.43 of the Revised Code.

(d) Guidelines to ensure that any financial interest held by any employee of the college or university does not result in misuse of the students, employees, or resources of the college or university for the benefit of the firm, corporation, or other association in which such interest is held or does not otherwise interfere with the duties and responsibilities of the employee who holds such an interest.

(3) Rules established under division (D)(1) of this section may include other provisions at the discretion of the college or university board of trustees.

(E) Notwithstanding division (D) of this section, the Ohio ethics commission retains authority to provide assistance to a college or university board of trustees in the implementation of division (D)(2) of this section and to address any matter that is outside the scope of the exception to division (B) of this section as set forth in division (D) of this section or as set forth in rules established under division (D) of this section.

SECTION 2 .  That existing section 3345.14 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.

SECTION 3 .  Within ninety days after the effective date of this section, a committee consisting of representatives of the presidents of the state colleges and universities shall develop in consultation with the Ohio Ethics Commission a model set of rules for the board of trustees of each state college or university to use in adopting its own rules under division (D) of section 3345.14 of the Revised Code. Each state college or university president may designate a representative to serve on the committee. Organization of the committee shall be coordinated by the executive director of the Inter-University Council.

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