Recognizing that you have made a new discovery or invention is the single most important step to furthering its protection and development. As part of the invention-based technology transfer process, you should ask two simple questions:

  • Is the discovery new?
  • Is the discovery or finding useful?

Generally researchers should consider these questions sooner rather than later, preferably each time an experiment or line of inquiry has been completed. Other critical periods to ask these questions are during the preparation of manuscripts, presentations and proposals. The submission of a manuscript represents a late but obvious event that may also trigger invention recognition.

An application for patent protection must be filed before there is any public disclosure of the new invention or discovery. Therefore it may be too late to ask these questions after a discovery is disclosed or discussed in an oral presentation, article, abstract, poster session, or thesis or dissertation.