University of Massachusetts Amherst

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FAQ for Inventors

INVENTORS:

1. Why should I file an Invention Disclosure?

2. When should I file an Invention Disclosure?

3. How do I file an Invention Disclosure?

4. What happens after the TTO receives my Invention Disclosure?

5. How long does the process take?

6. How can  my Invention be commercialized?

7. What about the public disclosure before I file and Invention Disclosure?

8. Does the TTO use inside or outside counsel?

9. What is a Materials Transfer Agreement and when should I use it?

10. What is the University's policy on Intellectual Property?

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1) Why should I file an Invention Disclosure?

  • The terms of your grant, whether from a government or private source, may require you to commercialize your invention.
  • Commercial agreements may provide a source of research funding.
  • Researchers and their departments receive a significant share of the revenue derived from licensing agreements.
  • Researchers and the University have an obligation to protect their intellectual property for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

2) When should I file an Invention Disclosure?

We recommend that you contact the TTO or file a disclosure whenever you have research results that you think may have a commercial potential.

It would be ideal if you contact our office prior to any public disclosure, whether oral or written, that describes the invention. Sharing data with colleagues, posting it on the internet, or displaying it at poster sessions are all examples of public disclosure.  Public disclosure prior to filing a patent application may result in loss of patentable rights.

3) How do I file an Invention Disclosure?

You can download our new and improved Invention Disclosure form here (Download our Invention Disclosure Form).  If you wish to discuss your Invention Disclosure or need assistance completing the form please call us anytime (545-3606).


4) What happens after TTO receives my Invention Disclosure?

The Invention Disclosure is reviewed by our licensing professionals.

5) How long does the process take?

Our goal is to make a quick evaluation of the invention and determine the commercial prospects of the invention…

6) How can my invention be commercialized?

The TTO will put together a profile of a potential licensee and will then identify and contact appropriate for-profit companies to determine their interest in your invention. Your assistance during this period is very valuable and TTO will keep you informed of all developments. I

7) What about public disclosure before I file the Invention Disclosure?

Since premature public disclosure will negatively impact the TTO's ability to obtain a patent, submitting the Disclosure before any publication or oral presentation that describes the invention is important. Sharing data, posting abstracts and papers on the internet,and poster sessions are just some examples of public disclosure.

8) Does TTO use inside or outside counsel?

The prosecution of patent applications is done by outside patent counsel that have been approved by the University’s general counsel.  Collaboration between the attorney and with the inventor is essential in preparing and filing a patent application.

9) What is a Materials Transfer Agreement and when should I use it?

10) What is the University's policy on Intellectual Property?