Recognizing a Potential Patent

While faculty, staff, students and anyone connected with the University are encouraged to discuss and publish the results of research as soon and as fully as is reasonably possible, care must be taken not to disclose the details of something that may be patentable. Publication of the details of an invention may make it impossible to seek patent protection.

Thus, there is urgency for researchers and scholars to recognize and address the possibility of commercial value early in the process of their work. Where it is anticipated that inventions or discoveries may result from a particular research enterprise, it may be necessary to have special agreements clarifying patent or licensing rights before the sponsor’s research funds are accepted by the University.

If an invention or discovery (including audio-visual and computer materials) was developed using University facilities or funds administered by the University, any person connected with the University who proposes to protect or license it must disclose the details of and assign the rights over the invention or discovery to the University. The University may decide to protect or license the discovery or invention, in return for a share of any proceeds that arise from its sale or commercialization.

The University and inventors each receive 50% of the net income (gross income less direct costs) from the commercialization of University owned intellectual property. If the University decides not to protect or license, the rights may be reassigned to the inventor, who may then develop any commercial application of the invention or discovery that he or she sees fit.