Four steps to protect your invention
(See full “New Invention Process”)
1) Initial meeting
A needs assessment meeting (aka pre-disclosure meeting) is booked with a technology transfer specialist. The purpose of this meeting is to clarify how Partnerships & Innovation can meet inventor’s needs and to discuss possible protection of the invention as well as its potential commercialization.
It is important to note that inventors are Inventors are encouraged to contact Partnerships & Innovation when discovering an invention with commercial potential and to maintain confidentiality of the invention. Any public display or disclosure of the results or process of the invention compromise its confidentiality.
2) Invention disclosure
This is the first formal step for protecting the Intellectual Property (IP) of the invention. A Partnerships & Innovation Specialist is assigned to the invention. The inventor fills out and signs an Invention Disclosure Form (IDF) (doc), the invention is assigned (see Assignment Agreements for UMFA and Non-UFMA inventors) to the University. A Partnerships & Innovation Specialist carries out preliminary market and patentability assessment.
Commercial and/or social potential of the invention takes place, Assessment of Intellectual Property (IP) - patentability is performed. The Partnerships & Innovation specialist revises the disclosure agreement and performs a Market Assessment for the invention, inventor co-operates with the process by providing with detailed information about the technology input throughout the process. This step usually takes three to four weeks to complete.
For cases in where it is found that it is too early to protect the invention and/or the invention has limited commercial potential, the invention is returned to the inventor along with feedback of the rationale and/or additional information required.
4) Protection of Intellectual Property (IP)
Legal protection of the intellectual property of the invention takes place (i.e. patenting). Based on the commercial opportunity for the greatest benefits of the invention, the Partnerships & Innovation specialist assesses which claims to prosecute. Prosecution of patent application is carried out with a patent agent.
This process often takes several years and thousands of dollars.