Technology Transfer Process: FAQ
You have a novel idea, invention or technology that you think has societal benefit and is marketable.
The first step in safeguarding intellectual property resulting from UD related work is to file an invention disclosure. Filing a disclosure protects the rights, prior to publishing or presenting, and allows you to continue your research with additional developments.
The Invention Disclosure Form begins the process of bringing your innovation to life. In the meantime, the information below can help you understand the technology transfer process and how it facilities commercialization of your innovation.
Bringing Your Innovation to Life
Read about the different phases and actions related to the commercialization process.
Members include representatives of the OEIP Technology Transfer Associates and the DE Small Business Development Center, who partner with University Innovators to provide mentorship throughout the commercialization experience.
The Commercialization Committee supports the innvovator(s) from the point of disclosure and continues through an iterative process of feedback and support. The committee will assist in assessing and developing a commercialization strategy and potentially pursue, at no cost to the innovator, patent(s), license agreements with established companies and/or start-ups.
A novel idea is developed or a laboratory discovery is made that solves a problem and shows a potential societal benefit.
Commercializing is a process of advancing ideas, research, and concepts into viable products that obtain marketplace acceptance, adoption, and ultimately generate a financial return. Additional benefits provide a vibrant UD community for researchers, and public trust.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ownership of intellectual property developed at the University will be determined according to the Intellectual Property Policy.
Inventions must meet the following criteria in order to be patentable:
- Useful - meaning that the invention is functional and beneficial.
- Novel - meaning that the invention is not previously known
- Non-obvious - meaning that the invention would not be considered obvious by someone “having ordinary skill in the art”
The University will do its best to protect and commercialize the invention.
The University will protect and commercialize the invention and cover all the costs to pursue commercialization. If the technology is licensed, a portion of the royalty revenue will be distributed to the inventor as well as the college and department.
The Commercialization Committee will decide if a patent application will be filed.
The entire process varies for each patent application and can take anywhere from three to six years to issue.
YES! Please contact the technology transfer office as early as possible prior to any type of publication. In the United States, there is a one year grace period from the date of public disclosure to file a patent application. Foreign patent rights can be lost. Grant proposals are not considered a public disclosure until it is posted and available to the public for review.
Confidential Disclosure Agreements (CDA)
CDAs are legal agreements for the protection of proprietary information. A CDA is necessary before any transfer of proprietary information from one party to another. It is critical to contact the technology transfer office before disclosing any information to another party.
Please contact technology transfer before you disclose any details to or with the company. We will work to ensure that a confidential disclosure agreement is executed that will protect your patent rights. We can also discuss the possibility of establishing a partnership with the company for further research.
Material Transfer Agreements (MTA)
MTAs are legal agreements for protection of tangible research materials created by researchers that may be useful to others for research or commercial development. It is critical to contact the technology transfer office before disclosing any information to another party.
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Current News and Stories
Pushing BoundariesMay 18, 2023 | Written by Karen RobertsOn Monday, May 8, University of Delaware leadership and members of the Delaware Congressional delegation gathered to recognize the University’s nearly 300 inventors for their ingenuity and creativity in developing solutions with the potential to change lives for the better.
Protecting The Value of Brain PowerMay 15, 2023 | Written by Beth MillerPatent experts visited the University of Delaware to update inventors, attorneys and professional staff in UD’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships (OEIP) on effective protection of intellectual property rights. They heard from Matthew Bryan (right) of the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization and Robin Hylton of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
PROTECTOR. PROVIDER. CHAMPION.May 15, 2023 | Written by Karen RobertsKorley is reshaping OEIP to better serve UD’s community of inventors and entrepreneurs. As the nation celebrates National Inventors Month in May, UDaily caught up with Korley to discuss his vision.