Since CU Innovations supports a diverse array of research programs which create many different kinds of impacts, our team is in a position to share best practices across the entire institution. Some innovations are translated effectively through a startup company or licensing relationship, while others need to be transferred through workshops or specialized courses. Still, others can be a platform to attract collaborations and funding through free distribution. Another common path for an innovation is to establish a core laboratory service to apply novel techniques to outside challenges. Our team works closely with other industry-facing units to refer innovations to the appropriate support resources. Our goal is to form a partnership with investigators to provide consulting and tools that meet the investigators’ goals for translating their innovations into impacts.
Just as innovations can be translated through different mechanisms, different intellectual property tools can be used. Technology transfer is most closely associated with patents and licensing relationships. If a patent is the most appropriate tool, CU Innovations must make an investment decision to allocate a limited budget that supports early stages of patent protection. Our office will complete a market analysis using a variety of resources to determine a preliminary value of the technology, including market size, market share, and associated risks or barriers, and will also complete a patentability assessment. Within four months of receiving a qualified, complete disclosure, CU Innovations will make a decision to invest in a patent or not.
Public disclosure, in either text or verbal form, may result in a lost opportunity to protect and commercialize your invention. If you think you have created an invention, contact the CU Innovations Office before submitting a manuscript for publication. It is best to call and establish personal contact right away; submitting a completed Invention Disclosure Form is the first step in the process of protecting your invention. Please expand the sections below to learn more about the steps researchers can take to protect future intellectual property, or contact your case manager with any questions.
Invention seldom occurs by mere happenstance—the "eureka!" or "aha!" type of breakthrough is more a myth than reality. In fact, university invention involves hard work, precise experimentation, and organized record keeping. Researchers should be considering the possibility of creating an invention from the very beginning of their research. By keeping accurate laboratory records from the start, it is easier to document the date of the invention’s conception and to show who was involved in the development of the original idea. This proof is necessary if questions should arise about inventorship and/or ownership.