Frequently Asked Questions

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Will I be able to publish the results of my research and still protect the commercial value of my intellectual property?

Yes, but because potential patent rights are impacted by these activities, it is best to submit a New Technology Disclosure well before communicating or disclosing your invention to people outside your research group.

Publication or presentation in any form prior to the filing of a patent application may adversely impact potential foreign patent rights and will start the one-year “clock” within the U.S.

Public disclosures:

· Journal publications

· Poster presentations

· Oral presentations

· Grant awards

May I use material or intellectual property from others in my research?

Yes, but Technology Transfer will need to know what, if any, third party contracts (e.g. confidentiality, sponsored research and material transfer agreements) may exist since those agreements often govern the conditions of use and influence ownership and licensing rights of your research results. These agreements also typically include notification and reporting requirements.

Will I be able to share materials, research tools or intellectual property with others for research collaboration?

Yes, but Technology Transfer should be notified in advance of such sharing. 

  • If you wish to send materials to third parties, please complete an outgoing Material Transfer Agreement.
  • If you wish to share other intellectual property with third parties, you might need to complete a Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA) / Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to protect your research results and/or intellectual property.
  • If you wish to collaborate with a third party, Technology Transfer and/or Sponsored Project Services will assist you in selecting and negotiating the most appropriate agreement(s).

If my invention is licensed to a third party, will I still be able to practice my invention?

Yes.  In all its licensing agreements with third parties, Technology Transfer uses best practices to ensure that it retains the right to practice inventions and to use associated information and data for research and educational purposes, including research sponsored by commercial entities.

If I change employment, will I still be able to practice my invention?

Yes; provided that your new employment is with another academic research institution. In such cases, Technology Transfer will work with your new institution to execute an Academic Use Agreement that will enable you to practice the invention for research and educational purposes. 

What about consulting?

Consulting activities are considered to be outside the scope of your employment. As such, these agreements are not handled or reviewed by the university or by Technology Transfer. However, you should familiarize yourself with the policies of your school, college or department relevant to consulting activities. You also are expected to ensure that the terms of the consulting arrangement are consistent with university policies, including those related to IP ownership, employment responsibilities and use of intellectual property.

What rights does a research sponsor have to any discoveries associated with my research?

The Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA) will specify the Intellectual Property (IP) rights of the sponsor. The university generally retains ownership of patent rights and other IP resulting from sponsored research. However, the sponsor may have rights to obtain a license to the IP resulting from the research. The sponsor generally will not have contractual rights to discoveries that are clearly outside of the scope of the research or that were invented prior to the research contract ("Background IP"). Therefore, it is important to define the scope of work within a research agreement and to review the IP provisions in the research contract.

New Technology Disclosures

Get started by submitting a New Technology Disclosure form.