The technology transfer adventure starts when a scientist thinks that his/her research results might have the potential for commercial exploration.
What is an invention?
An invention is a creation, either in idea or concrete form, which solves a significant technological problem or brings a novel solution to a major challenge. Inventions are not always patentable.
Who is an inventor?
An inventor is a person who has brought one or more new and original elements to an invention. An author on a publication or the head of a research group is not necessarily an inventor.
In order to allow the transfer of a new technology to the market, researchers must disclose their inventions to the institutional Commercialisation Office. This helps clarifying the following elements:
- The invention
- Its novelty and applications
- The list of all inventors (internal and external)
- The context or project in which it came about
- Possible external partners
- Key dates (its discovery, its publication, etc)
In order to make such disclosure, the researcher sends an invention disclosure to the C&TTO along with a written description of the invention that clearly describes its novelty and commercial potential.
In order to safeguard all the protection potential of an invention, the above steps must be taken before any public communication takes place (conference abstracts, posters, website postings, scientific publications, etc) and within a reasonable time frame in order to make arrangements for protecting the invention, if appropriate.
Evaluating the Invention
Following the announcement of the invention, the C&TTO evaluates its potential together with the inventors and the head of the research group or laboratory, establishing with them a development strategy. The evaluation includes the following principal criteria:
- Concrete applications
- Patentability (novelty, originality, and applicability)
- Economic potential
- Limiting factors for licensing (third-party rights, etc)
- Identification of possible licensees
Ownership of the invention and inventor’s earnings
UJ is the owner of its employees’ inventions. Inventors have the right to one third of net revenue resulting from the commercialisation of their inventions, to use as they wish.