Learn About Technology Commercialization

Technology Transfer Overview

Technology Transfer is the process of formally transferring rights to another party to use and commercialize new creations, discoveries, and innovations resulting from research and development at BGSU by faculty, staff, and students.

The Office of Technology Transfer and Services (OTTS) supports faculty, staff, and students in commercializing intellectual property developed at the University. Innovations generated by University researchers will be used locally and regionally to support the BGSU mission of engaged economic and industry development.

The process for commercializing intellectual property is outlined below. If you have questions during any phase of the process, OTTS is happy to assist. Contact OTTS

Technology Transfer Process

Intellectual Property Protection


Commercializing an Invention

Forms and Policies that Protect IP

Tech Transfer FAQ

Intellectual Property (IP) at colleges and universities refers most importantly to the creations/products/research discoveries of faculty, staff, and students. It refers to all forms of technology, research, innovative ideas, and expressions with roots from the university, whose ownership is subject to legal protection in United States or internationally, including but not limited to patents, copyrights, trademarks and service marks, tangible research property, and other rights to information/data.

The patentability requirements mandate that the subject matter of the claimed invention be useful, novel, non-obvious, and described with the particularity required so that people of skill in the relevant technology field or science can understand what the invention is, make the invention, and use the invention without engaging in what the law calls undue experimentation. You may contact the Office of Technology Transfer & Services (OTTS) at BGSU for clarifications regarding the potential patent protection for an invention or for assistance on other alternative types of protection. You may also submit an Invention Disclosure Form for any innovations you feel may solve a significant problem and/or have a significant value.

To qualify for copyright protection, a work must be original and “fixed in a tangible medium of expression.” This means that the work must exist in some physical form for at least some period of time, no matter how brief.  Copyright protects works such as novels, poetry, movies, streaming audio and video, software code, video games, sculptures, photographs paintings, sheet music, recorded music performances, plays, choreography, and architectural designs.  You may contact the Office of Technology Transfer & Services (OTTS) at BGSU for clarifications regarding the potential copyright protection for a creation or for assistance on other alternative types of protection. You may also submit an Innovative Creation Disclosure Form for any innovations you feel may solve a significant problem and/or have a significant value.

The reasons are unique to each researcher. They may include:

  • To achieve protection for a prototype of the next life-changing innovation
  • To develop academic-corporate collaborations for ground breaking research projects
  • To generate additional departmental funding
  • To attract sponsors to their research
  • To achieve a sense of accomplishment with the breakthrough technology
  • To create educational opportunities/facilities for students
  • To create job and further research opportunities for students
  • To achieve financial awards/rewards with regional economic development
  • To get assistance on research contracts and understand their obligations
  • To make a positive impact on the society

Office of Technology Transfer & Services (OTTS) play a crucial role in the process by identifying developments that are ripe for translation to real world solutions, obtaining patents and copyrights that protect them, and licensing products and processes to existing companies, or new startup businesses, to produce and market the products or ideas.

The satisfaction of inventions being deployed for public good. Business development through the commercialization of an innovation gives an opportunity for enhanced relationships with partnered companies and other business pioneers. In addition, a share of the net financial return obtained from a given license is shared with the innovators. Royalty Distribution Rate is specified in the BGSU Copyright and Patent Policy.

The cooperation and collaboration of innovators is critical to the success of any technology transfer process. You can help us by:

  • Contacting the OTTS when you believe you have made an innovative creation or scientific or technical observation with potential commercial or research value.
  • Completing and submitting the BGSU Disclosure Form in sufficient time for review and to file a patent application or for copyright protection.  Filing a patent application before publicly disclosing your technology, presenting, or publishing a manuscript is preferred. Please disclose an innovation at least three months before a presentation or submitting a manuscript for publication. 
  • To avoid risking the loss of Patent Rights, if a public disclosure is necessary, a Non-Disclosure Agreement can be negotiated by OTTS with the third party before disclosing the information to them.
  • Including all the required details in the Disclosure Form; including maintaining potential companies that may be interested in your technology, which you may or may not have been contacted with.
  • While some aspects of the protection and licensing process will require significant participation on your part, we will strive to make efficient use of your time. However, the patenting process takes several years, and you need to be committed to working with patent counsel and OTTS occasionally over this time.
  • Keeping OTTS informed of upcoming publications/presentations/interactions with companies related to your intellectual property.