Inventions and Inventors
What is an Invention? (Intellectual Property)
Who creates inventions?
The Inventors (Faculty, Staff and Some Students) who made a creative contribution to at least one of the issued claims in a patent– not a just someone who assisted the inventor, such as a lab technician or student who ran tests directed by the inventor. Inventorship is defined under patent law. Sometimes inventorship can't be determined until the patent is issued, because the claims may change during prosecution (if for example certain claims get disallowed).
Why, I must and should disclose my inventions and discoveries?
It is required as an employee of UNO. If your research was funded in whole or in part by a federal, state or industrial grant/contract, you are required to file a Technology Disclosure Form for any possible invention under terms of the grant. The University in turn, is required to notify the sponsor. For federal grants, the University must report the invention to the sponsoring agency within 60 days and actively work to commercialize the technology to meet the requirement that federally funded inventions should be licensed for commercial development, in the public interest. If the invention has commercial value, not disclosing the invention can lead to loss of royalty revenue income, that is shared by the institution with the inventor(s) according to its policies.
When should I disclose my inventions and discoveries?
You should file the Technology Disclosure Form as soon as you realize your research has uncovered something new and useful – two of the key elements for patentability. While the experimental work need not be complete, a clear and complete written description is required. A working model is not required – drawings and a written description are sufficient.