Part of CVIP’s responsibilities include review and signatory approval for Confidential Disclosure Agreements (CDAs) to ensure the protection of the University's intellectual property.

Confidential Disclosure Agreements (CDAs)

Before disclosing confidential information to others, you should carefully consider the consequences. Confidential Disclosure Agreements are used to protect the rights of the University and the researcher whenever confidential information is provided to or received from an outside source. CVIP can assist and advise you through this process and will prepare the appropriate CDA whenever necessary – simply contact our office at (413) 545-3606 or email at Confidential information should be protected for a number of reasons. One of the most important reasons is to maintain control over your information thereby preventing others from using your ideas. This can protect the novelty of the invention prior to patenting. Novelty is a key standard used to assess the patentability of an invention (i.e. whether the invention is new, or has entered the public domain). Often, the reason a patent application is not patentable is non-confidential disclosure of information. A CDA can therefore be critical protection when disclosing your information prior to filing a patent application. Information is no longer considered confidential after public disclosure unless that disclosure was protected under a CDA. Faculty are often called upon to give talks on campus, at other institutions, at meetings, and at companies. Topics typically contain information about ongoing research or early stage concepts, for which research has not begun. When improperly disclosed, such information is considered to have entered the public domain and therefore may not be patentable. If you make a presentation on work that is, or could be, the subject of a patent and may be a potentially commercializable invention, we strongly urge you to consult with us beforehand. We can advise you on how to best protect your work, which may ultimately be a source of revenue for you and your laboratory. Remember the following points:

  • Public disclosure prior to filing a patent can bar the work from being patented in the U.S. or abroad.
  • Submittal of papers to refereed journals is not public disclosure and will not affect the ability to patent an invention, as long as it is not published or circulated outside of the journal reviewers.
  • Once a patent application is filed, you are free to discuss the work, but limit such discussions to the areas covered by the patent application.
  • The use of a Confidential Disclosure Agreement is widely accepted and protects you from loss of intellectual property rights.

    Download CDA Required Information Form in Word