Patent and copyright policies; requires Secretaries of Administration and Technology to establish. (HB1941)

Introduced By

Del. Chris Peace (R-Mechanicsville) with support from co-patrons Del. Joe May (R-Leesburg), and Sen. John Watkins (R-Midlothian)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Patent and copyright policies of the Commonwealth. Requires the Secretary of Administration to establish policies, subject to the approval of the Governor, regarding the use of patents and copyrights owned by the Commonwealth. Such policies shall include, at a minimum, the following:

1. A policy granting state agencies the authority over the use and release of patents and copyrights created by employees of the agency. Such policy shall authorize state agencies to release potentially copyrightable materials under the Creative Commons licensing system.

2. A provision encouraging the Commonwealth and state agencies to seek patent and copyright protection only in those instances where the patents or copyrights have potential commercial value.

3. Subject to approval by the Secretary of Administration, a process permitting state agencies to commercialize patents and copyrights with potential commercial value.

The bill also permits localities and local school boards to set policies regarding the use and ownership of patents and copyrights developed by employees. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/13/2009Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/09 095818868
01/13/2009Referred to Committee on Science and Technology
01/19/2009Impact statement from DPB (HB1941)
02/02/2009Reported from Science and Technology with substitute (16-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
02/02/2009Committee substitute printed 095861676-H1
02/04/2009Read first time
02/05/2009Read second time
02/05/2009Committee substitute agreed to 095861676-H1
02/05/2009Amendments by Delegate Peace agreed to
02/05/2009Engrossed by House - committee substitute with amendments HB1941EH1
02/05/2009Printed as engrossed 095861676-EH1
02/06/2009Read third time and passed House (96-Y 1-N)
02/06/2009VOTE: --- PASSAGE (96-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2009Constitutional reading dispensed
02/09/2009Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
02/11/2009Reported from General Laws and Technology with amendment (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2009Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/16/2009Impact statement from DPB (HB1941EH1)
02/16/2009Read third time
02/16/2009Reading of amendment waived
02/16/2009Committee amendment agreed to
02/16/2009Engrossed by Senate as amended
02/16/2009Passed Senate with amendment (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/17/2009Placed on Calendar
02/18/2009Senate amendment agreed to by House (97-Y 0-N)
02/18/2009VOTE: --- ADOPTION (97-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/23/2009Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB1941ER)
02/23/2009Impact statement from DPB (HB1941ER)
02/24/2009Signed by Speaker
02/25/2009Signed by President
03/30/2009Governor's recommendation received by House
04/07/2009Placed on Calendar
04/08/2009Enacted, Chapter 790 (effective 7/1/09)
04/08/2009House concurred in Governor's recommendation (98-Y 0-N)
04/08/2009VOTE: --- ADOPTION (98-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
04/08/2009Senate concurred in Governor's recommendation (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
04/08/2009G Governor's recommendation adopted
04/08/2009Reenrolled bill text (HB1941ER2)
04/08/2009Signed by Speaker as reenrolled
04/08/2009Signed by President as reenrolled
04/08/2009Enacted, Chapter 791 (effective 7/1/09)
04/08/2009G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0791)
04/14/2009Reenrolled bill text (HB1941ER2)


Waldo J., tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

Releasing copyrighted state materials under the Creative Commons licensing system? Yes, yes, yes. A thousand times yes. Very impressive.

Mark Burnet writes:

This was started as a resolution for the VA DOE based on the Capetown Declaration


Establish a policy of the use of the Creative Commons License by public education institutions with respect to publicly available education content resources and assessments.

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia expends public funds to create educational materials for use by the Public School Systems of Virginia; and

WHEREAS, the use of these materials are released to the public for improvement of student learning and assessment; and

WHEREAS, these materials may have broader educational use to the betterment of the citizens of the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, citizens should have the freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute educational resources for the public good without undue constraint, and

WHEREAS, educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources for distribution and on the Internet, open and free for all to use;

now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED that materials created for and copyrighted to the Educational Agencies of the Commonwealth of Virginia be licensed, at such time as they can be made publicly available, under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike 3.0 United States license or placed in the Public Domain. Taxpayer-funded educational resources should be open educational resources and educational resource repositories should actively include and highlight open educational resources within their collections.

Ian Burnet writes:

I love this bill. It is such an improvement over the old policy in every way. I really hope this one goes through.