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.



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.



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.



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