The commercialization process begins when the office of Technology Advancement (TA) receives a signed Invention Disclosure Form (IDF). The IDF is recorded and funding sources reviewed for federal and third-party contractual obligations.
The evaluation includes:
- Discussions with the contributors
- Evaluation of patentability (whether the invention is novel and nonobvious) or other form of intellectual property protection by reviewing prior art (patents and public disclosures)
- Evaluation of commercial potential (industry need, market potential and competitive advantage)
A recommendation is made and communicated to the contributors. Possible recommendations include:
- Do not protect
- Hold for data (up to one year)
- Protect via patent, copyright, trademark, tangible property or know-how
In addition, feedback will be provided on technology development needed to increase the commercial potential.
The evaluation process requires extensive analysis of published scientific and patent literature and analysis of the market needs and business model; TA targets completion of the evaluation process and a recommendation provided to the contributors within 60 days from receipt of the IDF.
At times, patent counsel or other external vendors assist with disclosure evaluation. TA pays associated out-of-pocket expenses for these services ranging from $0 to $1,000.