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Commercialization Inventors Guide

Commercialization Process

This Inventor’s Guide provides a brief overview of the commercialization process at WSU.


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Disclose your invention

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Invention Disclosure FAQ’s

  • What is an invention disclosure

    An Invention Disclosure is a form we use to create a record of the invention, the inventor(s) involved, related sponsorship of the work, and any public disclosures and publications.

  • When do I submit a disclosure?

    Following these two guidelines will avoid the submission of a late invention disclosure in most situations and will aid in the protection of the intellectual property in a timely manner:

    1. Submit your invention disclosure well in advance of any publications; and
    2. Submit your invention disclosure when you have conceived the idea of the invention and have either proven the concept, or determined how it can be accomplished (preliminary data indicating utility and/or an actual reduction to practice is most helpful, but the disclosure need not wait for the data in some situations).
  • Is disclosing an invention mandatory?

    The Faculty Manual requires that all potentially patentable inventions conceived or reduced to practice in whole or in part by members of the faculty or staff (including student employees) of the University in the course of their University responsibilities or with more than incidental use of University resources be disclosed on a timely basis to the University. Ownership in such inventions is assigned to the University, regardless of the source of funding, if any. If you have any questions please contact us.

  • I am writing a book, do I need to disclose it to the Office of Commercialization?

    WSU copyright policy states that if significant University resources are used or if a work is created within the scope of your employment, then the University has ownership rights to the created work. More information on the WSU copyright policies can be found in Subsection H of Section IV of the WSU Faculty manual

  • What is the benefit of disclosing an invention to the Office of Commercialization?

    Disclosing your invention to us is an important part of protecting the rights to your discovery. One of the most important benefits may be the commercialization of your technology through our efforts in patent and licensing of the discovery. Other benefits through our marketing efforts include new contacts with industry or industry-sponsored research in your laboratory.

  • If I invent something at the WSU, does it belong to the WSU?

    WSU’s ownership of your invention may be contingent upon the specifics of your employment status and what University resources you used in its creation and development. To determine ownership, our office will need to do some fact gathering and analysis. It is important that you discuss the situation with us as soon as you think you may have an invention. Not only will the office help to clarify the situation, its involvement may lead to the process of protecting and commercializing your invention and starting you, your department, and WSU on the road to personal and institutional financial rewards.

  • What about my inventions prior to joining WSU?

    The University does not claim ownership of such inventions. However, any developments or improvements of these inventions that your make while at WSU may be owned by the University and should be disclosed to us.


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Did you discover something new?

An Invention is defined as “something new that did not previously exist.” Your invention is the product of your unique intuition or genius and as such can be distinguished from ordinary mechanical skill or craftsmanship. Inventions may occur in any field and address market or technical needs.

Thinking of sharing your information with people or organizations outside WSU?
be sure to talk to us first!

Don’t publicly disclose your invention before it is protected!  Before presenting or tabling, be sure to submit a disclosure to us so we can protect your idea.

If you’re sending materials to another colleague outside WSU, check out our Material Transfer Agreement.


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Safe, Secure, and, Fast!

Disclosing your invention to us is as simple as filling out a questionnaire. Enter into the Inventor Portal and you will be able to:

  • Start, save, and submit your disclosure
  • Attach documents, add co-inventors, and interact with our office
  • Track progress and communicate with us.


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Did you know…

That no one knows your inventions better than you? While your disclosure will help us get up to speed on your invention, we might reach out to you if we have questions, or if there are any issues we find with your disclosure.

Please note that in order for us to accept your disclosure we require:

  • That you list at least 2 of your Departmental Signatures (Deans and/or Directors)
    We require this approval for complete transparency with your department.
  • That you provide at least one marketing contact.
    Who would have a similar product/technology? Who would be interested in it?


Market Assessment 

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Making an Impact

Your innovation is new and unique. The market for it to excel can also be specific and unique.  We will use your disclosure as our launch pad to find market segments and explore areas to see if there is potential value for your invention or any competing innovations or technologies in this area.


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Global Protection

While the goal of protecting your invention stays the same, filing the necessary documents to do so can be quite different based on jurisdiction.  Once all necessary items have been reviewed by our office, we will fill out all necessary paperwork for you to patent, copyright or trademark your intellectual property. Please note that not all inventions can or will be patented.