Inventor FAQs

When does the Author or Inventor own the IP?
If the University decides not to pursue protection and/or commercialization of the IP, the inventor or author may request rights. The inventor may then choose to pursue patent protection and/or commercialization on his/her own. Be advised that patent costs often exceed $20,000 over the life of the patent (20 years), mostly due to attorney fees incurred within the first few years.

How long will the patent process take?
Within one year after the date of disclosure the University will either file a patent application for an invention, choose to license the invention, or release the invention or work in writing to the inventor or author, with the permission of the sponsor, if any. The inventor will be updated regularly at the key points in this process, as indicated in the diagram. If patent protection is pursued, the first reply from the USPTO is not expected for 12-14 months after filing. However, the University will take action to market IP as soon as a patent or copyright is filed. The inventor will be notified about progress at the end of each semester, if not more often.

When do marketing efforts on IP take place?
In most cases, the University would like to recover or defer patenting costs to a company that is interested in commercializing the IP. Therefore, efforts to interest the commercial sector in the idea will begin once the provisional or full patent is sent to the USPTO. The diagram below illustrates the options.