Washington State University

Office of Commercialization


Washington State University

Office of Commercialization


The Office of Commercialization will evaluate whether your innovation is protectable and, if so, navigate the process of patent, trademark or copyright, as applicable.

There are a number of factors we evaluate to determine if we will pursue a patent. Technology assessment takes into account the following factors, among others:

  • Stage of Development, Development Costs and Time: Innovations early in development may need significant resources to reach a commercially viable and valuable point with commercially useful claims.
  • Patentability: Novelty, obviousness and whether the discovery is enabled for use by others.
  • Patent Coverage: The breadth of claim obtainable, as well as geographies where the discovery can be protected.
  • Technical Merit: Whether the technology is groundbreaking or game changing, and its adaptability.
  • Market Breadth and Size: Whether appropriate for niche/small market or widely useful, and whether it has a high or low market value.

The process of protecting an invention has many steps and does take some time to complete. The earlier you submit your invention disclosure, the faster our office can make a determination and begin the submission process.

MTA Agreements

As a WSU researcher, you may need to learn about or disclose to a third party certain material that are non-public. To protect the intellectual property associated with the information and/or materials it is essential that before doing so you fill out the appropriate Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). There are specific MTA agreements for materials sent to us and materials sent to a third-party. If the institution you are working with is covered by a universal MTA, you will instead need a UBMT agreement letter.

Follow the steps in this checklist to ensure you have completed the MTA process correctly.


Patent, Trademark and Copyright information