An invention is “the discovery or creation of a new material (either a new manufactured product or a new composition of matter), a new process, a new use for an existing material or any improvements of any of these.” Computer software may also be classified as an “invention.”
All researchers are required to disclose to UConn all intellectual property that could constitute inventions or copyrighted works. This is especially important where any portion of the funding comes from the federal government, private foundation or commercial sponsor. Federal law requires prompt disclosure for federally funded inventions. If not, UConn, inventors and involved companies could lose very significant rights if disclosures are not promptly made.
If you are unsure whether you have an invention, you can quickly submit an Innovation Alert, which is a pre-disclosure form, to prompt a quick review and discussion with TCS staff.
You have an invention. Now what?
- Contact TCS when you believe you have a scientific or technical observation with potential commercial or research value.
- Complete and submit the UConn Invention Disclosure Form to TCS in sufficient time to file a patent application before publicly disclosing your technology or publishing a manuscript – preferably before submitting the manuscript for publication. Public disclosure includes journal publications, website publications, and presentations at conferences, posters, dissertations, master theses or abstract publications. More generally, it is when the intellectual property is made publicly available and accessible to those skilled in the art to which the invention relates.
- To avoid risking your patent rights and possibly hindering the opportunity to market your invention, contact TCS before holding any discussions with people outside the UConn community. If a patent application has not yet been filed, TCS will give you a Non-Disclosure Agreement for the parties to sign before you describe your invention to them.
- On the UConn Invention Disclosure Form, include companies and contacts you believe might be interested in your intellectual property (IP) or who may have already contacted you about your invention. Studies have shown that over 70% of all licenses are executed with commercial entities known by the inventor, so your contacts can be extremely useful.
- Respond to TCS and outside patent counsel requests. While some aspects of the patent and licensing process will require significant participation on your part, we will strive to make efficient use of your valuable time.
- Keep TCS informed of upcoming publications or interactions with companies related to your intellectual property.
The Invention Disclosure Form must be completed as described in the following steps:
- Complete the Invention Disclosure Form (Word document).
- Submit the form to the TCS group by e-mailing the disclosure to firstname.lastname@example.org
or mailing a hard copy to:
Technology Commercialization Services
University of Connecticut MC6400
400 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06032
*In all cases a hard copy of the original signature page must be submitted.
- Upon receipt, the Invention Disclosure will be assigned a case number for tracking purposes and an acknowledgement will be sent to you via email.
- You will be contacted by the Licensing Director assigned to your invention disclosure within a few weeks after the submission.
- The Licensing Director will meet with you to learn more about your invention and begin to evaluate the technology for commercial potential.
- The invention will be presented to the TCS committee and will be considered for patenting based on technical merit, patentability, and marketability.
- You will be notified of the TCS committee’s assessment of the invention.
If you have any questions please contact us!
or call us at 860-679-3992