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Inventor Bill of Rights

Inventor Bill of Rights


Licensing technology is a partnership driven activity.  Partnership both in sense of inventors partnering with university, and the university partnering with business and industry.  Having an inventor engaged in the licensing process, although not required, is a large factor in the overall success of the licensing process.

To ensure that inventor/University partnership functions as smoothly as possible, the following expectations and responsibilities have been detailed so each party has a clear understanding of their respective roles in the partnership.


What the inventor can expect

  • OTEP will evaluate your disclosure in a professional and timely manner.
  • First meeting with the inventor(s) will be scheduled with one week of receiving the disclosure.
  • OTEP will be central receiving point for invention disclosures.
  • OTEP will comply with all Federal, State, and contractual reporting requirements.
  • OTEP will conduct an initial evaluation of invention disclosures, determine the scope and content of prior art, and check for statutory bars to see if the invention is both patentable and patent-eligible. 
  • OTEP will evaluate invention disclosures that are patentable and patent-eligible for commercial potential. The inventor will be involved in this process and have an ability to comment and participate in the evaluation.
  • OTEP will decide on a protection strategy for invention disclosures with high commercial potential.
  • The results of the analysis of invention disclosures will be communicated to inventors on a timely basis.
  • OTEP will market the invention in collaboration with the inventor to industry partners, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs with an interest in the technological area.
  • OTEP will negotiate and sign license agreement with interested parties.
  • OTEP will share the revenue from licensing activities with the inventor.
  • OTEP being available to answer intellectual property and confidential information questions.


What is expected of the inventor

  • Disclose to the OTEP through the Invention Disclosure Form inventions and discoveries the inventor believes to have commercial potential.
  • Update the Invention Disclosure Form if there are advances to the invention.
  • Participate in marketing efforts.
  • Disclose funding sources and potential conflicts of interest.


The Process

The OTEP will typically take around thirty days to review the invention disclosure and conduct the appropriate background research on the invention, including meeting with you and other inventors. Inventors are urged to keep the OTEP apprised of any action they are contemplating, especially any publications or other public disclosures that might affect rights in the invention. In addition, you should let OTEP know right away if you’ve made any improvements to or new discoveries relating to your original invention. After evaluation, some inventions will not be pursued - it may have been publically disclosed already; it may already exist, or was discovered by others; there may not be a clear inventive step; it offers just an incremental improvement over what is already in the market; or there may not be a market for the invention.

If the OTEP determines that your invention qualifies for further consideration, we will initiate marketing efforts to see if there is an actual commercial need for the invention, and to identify qualified licensee(s). The goal is to assess commercial interest in the invention. Assuming patentability and commercial viability appear positive, the invention disclosure may be referred to a patent attorney or other outside entity to conduct a prior art search, and render a preliminary opinion on patentability, or to draft and file a patent application. When the OTEP reaches a final decision on how to proceed with your invention, you will be notified. If we elect to proceed with the invention, we will take you through the possible next steps, as outlined below. However, in the event the OTEP decides not to move forward with your invention, for reasons mentioned above, the rationale for that decision will discussed with you, and we will assist you if you wish to gain ownership of the invention from UD (after first asking the sponsor, if any) so that you may pursue commercialization independently of the university.


Filling out and submitting an invention disclosure

This is the process that starts the formal review of your invention by the OTEP.   Fill out the Invention Disclosure Form

In addition to starting the evaluation of your invention, the invention disclosure forms an important record of the invention, and allows UD to report the invention as required to its sponsors.

The invention disclosure asks for some key pieces of information.  Here is a list of the most important items, and why we ask for them:

  1. Title – To describe the invention and serve as an identifier for the file.
  2. Detailed Description - This will take the bulk of your time when completing the IDF. Here, we ask that you clearly explain what the invention is. In particular, how it works, how it is actually novel, the problem it solves or how discovery came about. Complete this step without the use of scientific/engineering jargon. We require an explanation of the invention in such a way as to be clear to one who is not familiar with it.
  3. External Funding – We use this section to fulfill reporting requirements and judge whether another entity may have an ownership or other interest in the invention.  It is critically important the correct contract number is used here, because we use that to report on the invention to its sponsors.
  4. First Public Disclosure – Patentability often hinges on if, or how long the invention has become publicly available.  We also need to know if you are planning any publications in the near future.
  5. Inventors – Every inventor, whether UD or not, needs to be identified.  If there is a question on whether an individual is an inventor, please contact the TPO for assistance.

Where do we go From Here?

Creating value from your invention

After having evaluated your invention for its patentability and commercial potential, the OTEP staff will also make a determination as to its commercial readiness. The invention may or may not be ready to commercialize based on several factors, and there are options on how to proceed.


We have two paths at this point- grant a license to the invention (or the patent rights associated with it) to an existing company, or work directly with you to found a startup company in order to pursue further development leading to commercial success.


Licenses are the mechanism by which OTEP partners with a company to allow that company to further develop, and ultimately sell products or services based on your invention. A license may be exclusive, just one company gets a license, or non-exclusive, in which case we license a single invention to multiple companies. Royalties and other income received from licenses are shared with you and the other UD inventors in accordance with UD policy.


Sometimes an invention is too early stage to be desirable to industry, while other times, it may be so out of current industry trends to be disruptive. A startup company may be a viable option of pursuit, provided that you are willing to take a vested interest in working with the startup to develop your invention. UD provides training to help make this happen. Please see the Entrepreneurship Tab for more information.

Not commercial-ready

Your invention may not fit into the existing commercial space- it is too early in its development, or there is no apparent path to market. Here, a little extra research assessing the relevant market space, can help make your invention commercial-ready. OTEP can help you apply for funding from I-Corps Ohio or the Ohio Technology Validation Startup Fund (TVSF) to perform commercial validation work, which provides valuable insight as to whether or not to pursue translational research.


Office of Technology & Entrepreneurial Partnerships

Daniel J. Curran Place
1700 Patterson Blvd
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 7758