Inventor submits invention disclosure to Office of Technology Management (OTM). The case is assigned to a Licensing Associate who meets with the inventor to review the technology and begin the Opportunity Assessment process.
Timeline ~4 weeks from completed disclosure
The Licensing Associate screens for technical readiness, market potential, and IP strength. Inventor participates in process and provides relevant data as appropriate. Return to Idea stage if more information is needed to complete the assessment process.
Timeline ~8 weeks from completed disclosure
- When the Opportunity Assessment shows technology has commercial potential and technical merit, OTM prepares a non-confidential summary, posts technology on web, develops a contact list, and begins marketing.
Timeline ~16 weeks from completed disclosure
- If patent protection not feasible or marketing not feasible, return to inventor and close file
Always use confidentiality agreements for detailed discussions with third parties. Guard against premature presentations and publications which could preempt potential for patents.
If appropriate, a provisional patent application can be filed which provides one year protection. Copyright protection is automatic so no additional steps are required to protect copyrighted works at this point.
OTM contacts potential licensees identified in the Assessment stage to determine level of interest. If no interest or potential is confirmed within a one year time frame, most technologies will be returned to inventor for further development.
Timeline ~up to one year from completed disclosure
For promising technologies which are not licensed, a cost/benefit review will be made to determine if technology should be protected and held in the patent portfolio to allow time for additional marketing and/or research.
Timeline - dependent upon time required for additional marketing and/or research
OTM negotiates license with prospects identified in the marketing stage, monitors milestones and handles royalty payments.
- Patent – At the licensing stage, an invention disclosure or provisional application will be converted to a utility patent application. For unlicensed technology, the review committee may elect to add the technology to the Patent Portfolio as indicated above.
- Copyright – For copyright disclosures (software, etc), OTM files copyright registration for works that are to be commercialized.
(Mississippi State University, version 9.2.14)