After disclosing an invention

The first steps following a disclosure include:

  • Setting up a file
  • Review for sponsor's rights--appropriate notifications are made
  • Publication information is verified and accelerated patent work is begun, if appropriate
  • Intellectual Property Services evaluates the legal protectability and commercial appeal of the invention

If it appears that a technology can be legally protected and commercialized, IP Services seeks legal protection using expert patent counsel outside the University. Disclosure evaluation to determine the  patentability of the invention (or other form of legal protection) normally takes ten weeks.

If the inventor receives no response within ten weeks of submission, he or she may petition IP Services in writing to demand an official determination on the submitted invention. IP Services must thereafter respond in writing to the inventor within 30 days.


The University has an obligation to decide whether commercialization appears appropriate for each submitted invention and to communicate this decision to the inventor. The University normally decides to do one of the following:

  • commercialize the invention
  • conduct further research
  •  waive University rights

In the event the University decides to commercialize the invention, it may secure patent (or other) protection and actively promote the invention to potential industrial partners. If the invention has appeal, but is incomplete, the University may delay further action on patenting or commercializing until subsequent research has better defined the technology.

If, upon evaluation, a determination is made that the invention cannot be protected, lacks commercial application, or is not legally claimable by the University, the University may waive its rights back to the sponsor or inventor where no sponsor's rights exist.