Inventions and Confidentiality

New inventions, patentable ideas, proprietary or confidential information should not be included in proposals unless necessary.  If sensitive information must be included, or if it is difficult to determine whether certain information is patentable or confidential, please bring it to the attention of the OPAS team.  In addition, please contact the Technology Transfer Office as soon as possible about any potential inventions or patentable ideas you may wish to include.  Grant applications are considered confidential, but federal grant applications constitute “publications” when a notice of award is issued, which may limit or destroy foreign patent rights.  In most federal grant applications, publication can be avoided by simply checking a box, but other procedures may be needed when applying to other funding sources.

For your protection, a proprietary rights legend should be added to the cover page of your proposal. Two versions are provided here for your consideration:

  1. This data shall be disclosed only to sponsor employees or outside evaluators under contract to the sponsor and shall not be duplicated, used or disclosed in whole, or in part, for any purposes other than to evaluate the proposal; provided that, if an award is made to this offer or as a result of, or in connection with, the submission of this data, the sponsor shall have the right to duplicate, use or disclose the data to the extent provided in the contract, grant or cooperative agreement. The data subject to this restriction is contained on page(s):

    And mark each page that is to be restricted with the following:
    Use or disclosure of proposal data is subject to the restriction on the Cover Page of this proposal.

    Or, when the proposal contains ideas and information that could lead to patent applications and stronger, more specific language is desirable, the following sample legend is recommended:
  2. This document, or portions of it, contains confidential information that is or may become the subject of a United States patent application and that is important to future commercial efforts based on such confidential information. Accordingly, this document and the confidential information is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, Sections 552(b)(3) and (b)(4) of Title 5 of the United States Code and corresponding regulations of United States government agencies.

Each page containing confidential information should be marked " CONFIDENTIAL".