Steps to Patenting and Commercializing an Invention
According to U.S. patent law, for an invention to be patentable, it must be novel, non-obvious and useful.
- Are you aware of other technologies that are similar to yours?
- Do you have a working prototype or promising data?
- Will your technology meet a need or solve an existing problem?
If you are unsure whether your invention is patentable, contact us and a licensing professional will assist you. An understanding of how a proprietary position can be created or destroyed will allow for logical and informed decisions about, for example, publications. Please note: publication of your invention might hinder your chances of obtaining a patent.
If you think your invention is patentable, complete and submit the confidential Invention Disclosure form. Contact us to obtain a username and password at (806) 742-4105.
This form will provide a detailed description about your invention, if there have been any public disclosures, and the commercialization and market information for your invention.
- Upon disclosure of your invention, our staff will conduct a confidential prior-art search by searching several databases of patents and patents pending in order to determine if your invention is novel, non-obvious and useful.
- An external Technology Review Team comprised of industry experts and entrepreneurs will use this information to determine whether the invention is protectable, marketable and potentially licensable. The team will then make a recommendation to the Vice Chancellor of RCFR to proceed forward with the licensing and commercialization process, or to license back the invention to the inventor.
- You may be asked to meet with the review team or RCFR staff to discuss your invention and answer questions.
Step 3 can take up to 2 months.
If you have not already filed an application for patent, the RCFR will partner with licensed patent attorneys to begin the patent process. It is in everybody’s best interest for your technology to be patented if it is determined that it is marketable and has potential for commercialization.
It could take 4-7 years for a patent to be issued. In the meantime, the RCFR will actively market your technology to private companies or investors. We will hold special presentations for potential licensees to learn about your invention and its commercial viability. Note: a nondisclosure agreement will always be executed between the RCFR and potential investors so confidential information can freely flow between the two entities. A summary of your technology will also be posted on our Web site.
Once the RCFR has identified a company/investor that is interested in licensing your technology, our office will negotiate terms of the agreement on your behalf. Whether the agreement is a sponsored research agreement or a license agreement, the RCFR will make sure this process is as seamless as possible for you. The RCFR will always be the intermediary between you and the licensing entity.