What is an invention?
The term invention means any invention or discovery which is or may be patentable or otherwise protectable under Title 35 of the United States Code, or any novel variety of plant which is or may be protectable under the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2321 et seq.).
What is an invention disclosure form?
The invention disclosure form is a legal document completed by the inventor that explains what was discovered or created or what scholarly work was created, who sponsored the work and whether such has been disclosed or is scheduled for publication or public presentation. For patentable inventions, the completed IDF should clearly indicate the new, useful, and non-obvious properties of the intellectiual property (IP) over existing published materials. All creators of the IP should be listed in the IDF even if they are not university employees. Please refer to Section 12.1.1 "Intellectual Property Policy" in the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) for a discussion on disclosure at the Health Science Center.
Why disclose an invention?
The Bayh-Dole Act (P.L. 96-517, Patent and Trademark Act Amendments of 1980) was a game-changer for technology transfer by enabling universities to retain title to inventions and take the lead in patenting and licensing groundbreaking discoveries. The University of Texas System and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio are committed to the development of intellectual property to enhance research, scholarship, teaching, and discovery in the best interest of the public, the inventors, and research sponsors.
When should I disclose an invention?
Intellectual property should be reported to the OTC as soon as a creator believes he/she has a new discovery, creation and/or invention, including software, by submitting a completed and signed Invention Disclosure Form (IDF).
Publicly disclosing the details of one's intellectual property during a technical presentation in a public forum (seminar, conference, symposium, Grand Rounds) could affect patent protection. Creators are encouraged to contact OTC with any questions prior to any such presentation.
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