University inventors are researchers, faculty members, and students who are responsible for creating new technologies and innovations within universities. These individuals conduct research in a wide range of fields, including science, engineering, medicine, and the humanities, and their work can lead to the development of new products, services, and techniques that have the potential to benefit society in a variety of ways.
University inventors typically work in collaboration with other researchers and faculty members, and they often have access to state-of-the-art equipment, facilities, and funding to support their work. In addition to conducting research, many university inventors also teach classes and mentor students, helping to train the next generation of researchers and innovators.
University inventors play a critical role in the technology transfer process, by creating new technologies that can be licensed or transferred to the private sector for commercialization. Technology transfer offices (TTOs) at universities work closely with inventors to help identify and develop commercially viable technologies and to assist in the process of bringing those technologies to market.
It’s important to note that the university inventors are also responsible for protecting their Intellectual Property rights, by filing patents, trademarks and copyrights, and to ensure compliance with regulations and laws. They also have to comply with the University policies and procedures when it comes to the commercialization of their invention.
Any publication, published abstract, or public presentation of an invention prior to filing a U.S. patent application may destroy your ability to obtain patents in most foreign countries.
JSU policy requires its employees and students to disclose inventions. As soon as you believe that you have a potentially patentable invention, contact Almesha L. Campbell, Director of Technology Transfer, Commercialization and Research Communicatins, who will explain the technology transfer process at JSU. You will be required to complete a Disclosure of Invention form, which provides the necessary information to evaluate patentability, inventorship, obligations to research sponsors, and other critical information.
It is imperative that information pertaining to an invention be kept confidential until a patent application is filed. Before publishing, talking to potential investors or making a public presentation on an invention contact the IP manager. Disclosure of invention to individuals outside the University could result in the loss of patent rights.
WHAT IS A PATENT?
A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted to an inventor by the Government. This right gives the inventor the opportunity to “exclude others from making, using or selling the invention” for a term of 20 years from the date of filing the application. In return for this period of exclusivity, the inventor must disclose the details of the invention so that others may seek improvements or new uses.
WHO IS AN INVENTOR?
Determining who is named as an inventor on a patent is a legal decision rather than a choice made among participants. Only those individual(s) who furnish an idea can be named as inventor(s). An inventor is the one who first conceives of the invention in sufficient detail that someone skilled in the art could reproduce the invention. If two or more persons work together to make an invention, and each had a share in the ideas forming the invention, they are joint inventors.
WHAT IS A PATENTABLE INVENTION?
An invention is a discovery or creation of new material (either a new manufactured product or a new composition or matter), a new process, a new use of an existing material, or any improvement of any of these. Most of these inventions generally can be patented. However aesthetic creations, or scientific discoveries without specified application, cannot be patented. Things that exist in nature, which are discovered and not invented, machines that defy the laws of nature, scientific theories or mathematical methods cannot be patented.
In general a patent will be granted for an invention so long as it:
- is new or “novel”: the invention must never have been made in public in any way, anywhere, before the date on which the application for a patent is filed.
- involves an inventive or “unobvious” step: this step must not be obvious to others with good knowledge and experience of the subject of the invention.
- is capable of industrial/useful application: an invention must be capable of being made or used in some kind of industry
Technology transfer and commercialization refer to the process of transferring technology developed in academic or research institutions to the private sector for the purpose of creating a product or service that can be sold in the market. This process involves identifying potential technologies or innovations, assessing their commercial potential, and then transferring the technology to a company or entrepreneur who can bring it to market. The goal of technology transfer and commercialization is to promote economic growth and job creation by turning cutting-edge research into commercial products and services. Additionally, it helps in the development of new technologies, products and services which can be beneficial for society as a whole.