Protecting Intellectual Property
Protecting intellectual property is essential to any commercialization effort. However, before any invention or technology can be protected, it must first be disclosed through the WSU Office of Commercialization. Please discuss with your chair and/or college leadership before submitting a disclosure to our office.
It is essential to disclose inventions properly before publishing or publicly presenting any material related to your invention. Patent protection outside the United States may become limited, if you do so before disclosing with WSU.
The Office of Commercialization’s role is to evaluate whether your invention is able to be protected and, if so, navigate the process of patent, trademark or copyright as necessary. This ensures that an invention can be licensed in the future for use in the private sector.
Submit a digital disclosure through the Inventor Portal
Why use the Inventor Portal?
The Inventor Portal is accessible to any WSU employee. Your access will never expire and you can always login and continue where you left off. When you submit your disclosure to the OC via the Inventor Portal you will have access to:
Inside the portal you can create and submit your idea to our office all within the safety and security of the Inventor Portal.
Have an illustration you want to show us? Add it to your disclosure in the Inventor Portal and we will get it.
Need Departmental authority to submit your disclosure? No problem-the Inventor Portal can automatically route your disclosure to the appropriate parties.
Ask questions and view the current status of your disclosure.
Access all of your historical disclosures through the Inventor Portal.
Inventors are those who conceived the invention. In some very rare circumstances those who intellectually contributed to the process of reduction to practice can be considered inventors.
Inventorship resides with the person(s) who have created the work–designed or written software, produced a video piece, crafted a tutorial tool, or discovered an improved manufacturing process, for example.
Ownership refers to the legal possession of a patent granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or of a copyright registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
The determination of copyright or patent ownership is based on the extent to which University resources, facilities, or other support or contracts were involved in the development of the work or whether the material was created within the scope of employment duties. If the work’s creation is dependent upon University involvement, most likely the ownership will go to the University.
University ownership, however, does not diminish the primary role of the author or inventor of a work. Inventors maintain creative control of the development, enhancement, or presentation of the work. They are entitled to receive a share of royalties which may accrue, they are free to use the work for their own personal or professional purposes; and their wishes are considered in any decisions for public distribution or use.
Most foreign patent rights are lost immediately upon public disclosure. In the U.S., you have one year from the date of the public disclosure to file a patent application.
To protect the patentability rights to your invention, it is important that you contact us as early as possible prior to public disclosure. Public disclosure, includes but is not limited to journal articles, publication on the web, conference abstracts, oral presentation or poster presentations and published grant proposals or abstracts of awarded grants and progress reports.