The OTT assists researchers in protecting innovations developed at the University. We help faculty to develop strategies for preserving their intellectual property (IP) of valuable ideas in light of publication and grant-application plans. In addition, we consult faculty on other IP-related questions. We administer the University’s royalty-distribution policy, sign confidential disclosure agreements and material transfer agreements as well as patent documents.
When our office receives an invention disclosure, we typically begin by reviewing it in terms of its commercial viability. With regard to marketability, we consider what, if any, other products and/or similar patents may exist and may be considered market barriers to the technology. We assess whether a need exists for the invention and whether it is “better, faster and cheaper.” We will also solicit early feedback from potential licensees and end-users in that technology “space.” In most cases, if the technology is determined to have commercial potential, we will then seek IP protection and develop a licensing strategy to transfer the technology to public sector where its benefits can be utilized.