What to do with an invention?

The most important thing to do when an invention occurs, or may have occurred, is to disclose the invention to the Intellectual Property Services. You can do this two ways:









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Prompt disclosure is necessary for effective transfer of the technology into private industry. It is essential to protect potential patent rights and it is a firm requirement of U.S. federal law when any federal money has been used to support the research.

The information in a disclosure is confidential. Do not send copies of the disclosure form to others, even to sponsors of the research.

You should also indicate any special information or desires at the time of disclosure. For instance, if you have collaborated with people from industry or if industrial scientists have expressed interest in the research, these should be noted. Also, if you are interested in commercializing your own technologies, you should make that interest known as soon as possible.

IP Services works closely with Commercial Enterprises to secure industry partnerships. Companies interested in the technology contact Commercial Enterprises and complete a Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA), permitting the confidential information to the companies without fear of its misuse.

Once CDAs are signed, inventors are encouraged to establish direct communication with scientists at the interested company. Through such contracts and review of inventors' findings, the company determines its level of interest in licensing the invention or in funding additional research.

Student Inventions

A student who wishes clear title to an invention he or she developed at the University (which does not fall under the exceptions listed on University Policy on Inventions), should contact IP Services. Upon disclosure of the invention and the details surrounding its development to IP Services, the University will execute a waiver of any rights it might have in the invention to the student inventor(s). It is also possible for students to assign inventions to the University to utilize the patent and technology transfer resources the University maintains. In return for such an assignment, student(s) benefit to the same degree as do faculty inventors.