Faculty Research Central
The University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) brings together the services of entrepreneurship, innovation support, research agreements, technology transfer, and new venture development by acting as a bridge between faculty and the business community.
Disclose an Invention
Disclosing an invention starts the process with UA’s Office of Technology Transfer, and is the first step in filing for a patent or other form of intellectual property. You should disclose an invention as soon as you believe you have made a novel, useful and nonobvious invention as part of your research, so that our office can work with you to make an informed decision on whether to protect your invention. Failure to file for patents before publications or other presentations on your invention can lead to the loss of valuable patent protection.
Find the form to disclose the invention here.
UA’s invention disclosure process typically consists of the following steps:
- Pre-Disclosure: If you are a new inventor or if you have any questions, contact UA’s Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) to get guidance before filling out the Disclosure of Invention Form.
- Written Invention Disclosure: Filling out and submitting UA’s Disclosure of Invention Form starts the formal technology transfer process. The form remains confidential and should contain all relevant information on your invention. However, simply submitting the form does not get you patent protection.
- Discussion: An OTT officer will contact you with any questions regarding the Disclosure of Invention Form and to discuss your plans for your invention.
- Provisional Patent Filing: Once OTT collects all relevant information, we may file a provisional patent on your invention. A provisional patent is a temporary filing that protects your invention for one-year, giving you and OTT time to assess the commercial potential of your invention.
- Assessment: Work with OTT through programs like I-Corps Sites to conduct patent searches, analyze markets, contact customers, and review competing technologies to determine if your invention should move forward to a regular (non-provisional) patent filing.
- Patent Drafting and Filing: If OTT chooses to file, a specialized law firm will work with you on drafting and prosecuting the patent application, including responding to any questions from U.S. or foreign patent examiners.
- Marketing: Reach out to established companies and entrepreneurs to look for the best fit to help commercialize your technology. UARF and the Proof of Concept Initiative can help with this step.
- Licensing: License agreements give a company the right to make, use and sell your invention in exchange for payments back to UA. UARF will negotiate these agreements on your behalf with established or early-stage companies that have the expertise to successfully commercialize your invention.
- Commercialization & Revenue: Even after a license agreement is signed, most faculty stay involved with the licensee company to provide input that will help make their invention into a successful commercial product. Revenues are split among the inventor, UARF, the inventor’s department and college, and UA’s general fund.