Invention Disclosure & Assessment

Invention Disclosure and Assessment

Helping life-changing innovations go from lab to market

Creating an invention is a significant accomplishment. Our team is here to actively engage with university inventors to help evaluate, protect and ultimately find the right market for intellectual property—through licensing or creating a startup company. We've created the Inventor's Guide to Technology Transfer to outline the life of a technology and help inventors know what to expect throughout the process.

The first step in this process is filing an invention disclosure.

An invention disclosure is the official written notice of a university invention – it is the first step in protecting and advancing intellectual property. Inventions may be processes, guidelines, methods, machines, articles of manufacture, devices, software, chemicals and compositions of matter. 

Disclosing an invention is an important first step in fulfilling Ohio State’s land-grant mission of creating and discovering knowledge to improve the well-being of our state, regional, national and global communities. The disclosure begins the process of protecting the intellectual property and finding a path to impact lives. Proceeds from technologies in the market are distributed back to the inventors and their colleges, promoting investment in continued research activities.  Many funding agencies, including the federal government, require disclosure of inventions developed with those funds.

Timing is a crucial factor when submitting a disclosure – an invention should be disclosed at least eight weeks prior to sharing information about this discovery publicly. This timeframe allows for an in-depth evaluation process to be completed and ensures enough time for actions to be taken to protect both U.S. and foreign rights. In the event that you cannot submit an invention disclosure at least eight weeks prior to a public disclosure, please contact us at 614-292-1315.

A public disclosure is any non-confidential oral or written communication to people outside the university that provides enough information to reveal the existence of the invention and enable a person having ordinary skill in the art to reproduce the invention. Examples of public disclosures include: a journal article; conference proceedings or abstracts; thesis publication or defense; federally-funded grant applications upon notice of award; publicly distributed meeting notes; or discussions with third parties. When in doubt, contact us to help guide you to ensure the technology is protected.

All invention disclosures should be made through our portal, Innovate. Through this secure portal, inventors can also access invention and patent records and view their history of requests. When disclosing, be sure to:

  • Choose the appropriate type of disclosure.
  • Include title and abstract
  • Create a technical description
  • Attach applicable manuscripts or papers
  • Provide references or publications 
  • Include any funding or sponsored research information

A licensing manager with subject matter expertise will assess each invention disclosure in three major categories: 

  1. Intellectual property - the commercialization team investigates the intellectual property landscape to identify any prior art or encumbrances related to the technology. There are multiple ways in which to protect an idea or technology: patents, copyrights and know-how are the three most frequently employed at universities.
  2. Potential market - the licensing manager performs an evaluation to identify potential licensees, business leads and/or investors for the technology. The manager also considers competition, market need, stage of development, possible customers, market size, value proposition and timeframe to a marketable product in this assessment.
  3. Technical merit - the team will work with the inventor(s) to determine whether any additional experiments or studies are required to help position the invention for licensing or commercialization.

Our technology commercialization team is here to help researchers facilitate the translation of advanced research and innovation into the market where it can have an impact on people and the economy. Our team assigns the appropriate licensing manager to your technology and will evaluate your disclosure. We will reach out to meet with you and begin the process of commercialization with you. 

Contact us

Are you excited by a research idea, discovery or insight that could have an impact on the world around us? If so, please let the technology commercialization team know!


Contact us today


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