Technology Commercialization Process for Faculty
Step One: Idea and Invention Disclosure
Congratulations! You have created original work through your scholarships and collaborative works! Your first step in the process to protect your creative works is to submit an invention disclosure. Once submitted to the TCO, a member of the staff will meet with the inventor to review the technology and begin Opportunity Assessment. By submitting a disclosure, the inventor enables the TCO to offer assistance and support throughout the commercialization process.
What is an invention disclosure?
An invention disclosure is a confidential document that provides an overview of the creative work. The document addresses technical aspects of the invention, such as what's novel about the invention, its advantages over the competition, its potential drawbacks, and possible commercial value. In addition, the invention disclosure addresses legal matters, such as ownership of intellectual property and who may be inventors. Completing the Invention Disclosure Form is fast and easy! If you want to learn more about GVSU policies on Intellectual Property, visit the Grand Valley State University's Policies and Procedures page.
Step Two: Opportunity Assessment
The TCO staff member screens for technical readiness, market potential, and patentability. We may also engage expertise through specialized consultants. It is important that the inventor participates in the process and provides relevant insight to the invention. Assessment of inventions can require intensive research and could take up to 4 weeks. If the Opportunity Assessment shows the invention has commercial and technical merit, the opportunity to protect the creative work is presented to the GVSU Innovation Committee. If patent protection or marketing the technology is not feasible, the invention, at the request of the creator, is returned to the inventor.
Step Three: Protect
It is important that the invention not be "publicly disclosed" before filing for a patent or patenting rights will be lost. Inventors should work with the TCO to guard against premature presentations and publications which could preempt potential for patenting. Also, always use Confidentiality Agreements for detailed discussion with third parties until a patent application is filed. Confidentiality Agreements are available through GVSU TCO. Depending on the invention and the results of the Opportunity Assessment, you may be asked to present at the GVSU Innovation Committee. If the GVSU Innovation Committee makes the decision to proceed with filing for a patent, the inventor and TCO will meet with patent counsel to draft the patent application. This can take up to 4 weeks, and is an iterative process between you, patent counsel, and the TCO.
Step Four: Marketing
Once a patent application is filed, the TCO will contact potential licensees identified during the Opportunity Assessment to determine the level of interest in engaging in the technology. If no interest or potential is confirmed within one year, GVSU will stop funding patent prosecution, and the technologies will be returned to the inventor.
Step Five: License and Commercialize
The TCO negotiates research collaborations and possible licensing of GVSU protected creative works. The TCO licenses with prospects identified in the Marketing stage. Negotiations can take several months, and may require further development of the invention, due to diligence in reviewing the work, with possible demonstration of the technology. Creators of the works are involved in the analysis, and often are required to support transfer of the invention to the licensee. After licensing, the TCO monitors licensee milestones and handles royalty payments. Royalty payments are distributed according to the GVSU Intellectual Property policy.