Technology Commercialization Process

Step One: Idea and Invention Disclosure

The Inventor submits an Invention Disclosure Form to the Technology Commercialization Office. The case is assigned and a member of the staff will meet with the inventor to review the technology and begin the opportunity assessment process.

Step Two: Opportunity Assessment

The TCO staff member screens for technical readiness, market potential, and IP strength. Inventor participates in the process and provides relevant data as appropriate. If more information is needed to complete the assessment process, return to Step One.

  • When the Opportunity Assessment shows technology has commercial potential and technical merit, the TCO prepares a non-confidential disclosure, posts technology on the web, develops a contact list and begins marketing.
  • If patent protection or marketing is not feasible, technology is returned to the inventor and the file closed.

Step Three: Protect

Always use Confidentiality Agreements for detailed discussions with third parties. Guard against premature presentations and publications which could preempt potential for patents. If appropriate, a provisional patent application can be filed which provides one year of protection. Copyright protection is automatic, so no additional steps are required to protect copyrighted works at this point.

Step Four: Marketing

TCO contacts potential licensees identified in the Assessment stage to determine the level of interest. If no interest or potential is confirmed within one year, most technologies will be returned to the inventor for further development.

Step Five: Patent Portfolio

For promising technologies which are not licensed, a cost/benefit review will be made to determine if the technology should be protected and held in the patent portfolio to allow time for additional marketing and/or research

Step Six: License and Commercialize

The TCO negotiates licenses with prospects identified in the marketing stage, monitors milestones and handles royalty payments.

  • Patent- At the licensing stage, an invention disclosure or provisional application will be converted to a utility patent application. For unlicensed technology, the review committee may elect to add the technology to the Patent Portfolio as indicated above.
  • Copyright- For copyright disclosures (software, etc.), the TCO files copyright registration for works that are to be commercialized.

The licensee continues the advancement of the technology and makes other business investments to develop the product or service. This step may entail further development, regulatory approvals, sales and marketing support, training and other activities.


Page last modified April 6, 2015