Disclose Innovative Ideas

Submit Disclosure

Submitting a Disclosure Form begins the formal technology transfer process.  A disclosure is a confidential document that fully explain your creation, discovery, or innovation so that the Office of Technology Transfer and Services (OTTS) can evaluate and pursue potential options for commercialization. Disclosures should be made to OTTS well before presenting the discovery through publications, poster sessions, conferences, press releases or other communication.

Researchers should submit a Disclosure for all innovations and developments that may solve a significant problem and/or have significant value.  When in doubt, please contact OTTS to discuss the innovation and potential strategies for commercialization.  Please submit one of the following forms depending on the type of disclosure being made and whether you are a faculty or staff member or a student.

For Faculty/Staff

This form should be completed promptly upon the conception of a potentially patentable invention or discovery. It represents the first recording of the invention and establishes the date and scope. It includes a detailed description of a novel invention that explains how it is created and reproduced. This explains the importance of the invention, why it improves on current designs, and what differentiates and distinguishes the invention from other prior art. This is important, as it allows IP teams to understand whether there is any monetary value in the invention and what potential paths towards IP protections and commercialization can occur. OTTS is responsible for this and the template IDF can be downloaded here: Invention Disclosure Form

This form should be completed for copyrightable subject matter and other innovations developed at the University. OTTS is responsible to handle this form and a template can be downloaded here: Innovation Creation Form

This form should be completed for any novel Research Tool developed at the University. It is used to capture information on research tools developed at BGSU. Research tools are defined as the full range of resources that scientists use in the laboratory, including, but not limited to, cell lines, antibodies, proteins, peptides, reagents, animal models, growth factors, clones and cloning tools. OTTS is responsible to handle this and a sample can be downloaded here: Research Tool Disclosure

For Students

This form should be completed for copyrightable subject matter and any other novel creations, innovative ideas of students. It requires details including the idea of the innovation, the commercial potential and the application in real time. Students are encouraged to submit this form to protect the rights of their idea though the invention does not have a prototype. OTTS is responsible to handle this and a sample can be downloaded here: Student Invention Disclosure Form

This form should be completed promptly upon the conception of a potentially patentable invention or discovery by the students. It represents the first recording of the invention and establishes the date and scope. It includes a detailed description of a novel invention that explains how it is created and reproduced and its potential advantages than the prior art. It is important to submit the form with complete details before a public disclosure to protect the IP rights of the student. OTTS is responsible to handle this and a sample can be downloaded here: Student Innovative Creation Disclosure Form.

Invention Disclosure FAQ

You should complete a Disclosure Form whenever you feel you have created or discovered something unique with possible commercial value. Please check the Disclose Innovative Ideas page to learn more about the forms you could submit.  This should be done well before presenting the discovery through publications, poster sessions, conferences, press releases, or other communications.  Once publicly disclosed (i.e., published or presented in some form to non-BGSU listeners), an invention may have restricted or minimal potential for patent protection.

Submission of a disclosure form as early as possible is suggested to protect the IP rights. After an invention is publicly disclosed, there may be limited IP protection available. Be sure to inform OTTS and discuss the public disclosure for further guidance on ways to protect commercial value regarding your invention.

Yes. Inventors, their labs, their departments, as well as the university, all share in the net proceeds generated from licensing of inventions as described in the in the BGSU Patent Policy.

Not necessarily.  Inventorship has a strict legal meaning under the laws and regulations of the U.S. Patent System.  The law specifies that ONLY those who have made independent, conceptual contributions to an invention are inventors.  It is, however, possible for an invention to be the work of two or more joint inventors, sometimes referred to as co-inventors.

Please note that an individual who merely suggests an idea without the means of accomplishing the task is not a contributor to the conception of the invention. Additionally, an individual who has simply followed the instructions of another is not a contributor to the conception of the invention. These individuals may be included as authors of a journal article, but they are not inventors of the technology.  In many cases students that are working on projects are not inventors.

There are many potential benefits to you personally in working with OTTS to commercialize your technology. Commercialization of your technology is a tangible way to achieve recognition of your scientific discovery or creation, and marketing your technology can increase your research opportunities via collaborations and strategic partnerships. But there is also the potential for significant personal income resulting from licensing, also the patents protected have the inventor name specified.

With recommendation from the Vice President for Research and Economic Engagement  and the authorization of the President to pay for the filing a patent application,  OTTS is responsible for the drafting, filing, and prosecuting of patent applications and the maintenance of issued patents. Once your technology is licensed, in most cases the licensee will pay all patent costs, and may reimburse BGSU for past patent costs incurred for the licensed technologies. If not reimbursed by the licensee, BGSU Patent Policy provides that such unreimbursed costs be deducted from licensing revenues before distributing of royalties to inventors. 

OTTS assists creators and authors in licensing software under a variety of distribution strategies. In addition to licensing software code for commercial development and distribution, the OTTS can license research code for non-commercial and/or academic purposes and can assist creators in offering software via open source licenses.  If you have created software that you believe may have commercial potential, you should submit the BGSU Innovation Creation Form.

The novelty of your invention is only maintained as long as it is not disseminated publicly. Any public disclosure of the invention that provides information sufficient for an individual skilled in the relevant industry to reproduce the invention nulls the novelty requirement of patentability.

Why does the OTTS need my work and home addresses?

We need your work address to contact you and your home address to mail royalty checks to you. Please keep us updated if either address changes.

Under federal law, BGSU is required to report to the Government inventions created under sponsored research. If the University decides not to take title to such an invention (that is, decides not to keep it), then the Government has rights to it. If the Government doesn't wish to pursue it, the invention may be assigned back to the inventors. Non-Government sponsors may also have intellectual property clauses and obligations attached to such sponsorship with which OTTS must comply.

As detailed as possible. All information provided to OTTS will be kept confidential. Without adequate information, OTTS cannot perform a complete evaluation of the invention's licensing potential, nor can we obtain an accurate legal opinion as to whether it is patentable. The first meeting with the OTTS officer and the inventor(s) is a time when the invention may be discussed in detail.

As of March 16, 2013 the U.S. patent system switched to a "first-inventor-to-file" system. The dates of public disclosure are important because foreign patent rights are lost once an invention has been publically disclosed. In the U.S. an inventor has one year from the date of public disclosure (this includes orally at a public meeting, in writing, or offering it for sale) in which to file a patent application, but it is best to file before the public disclosure. Once that year has passed, the invention cannot be patented.