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See the steps required to disclose your discoveries in order to secure intellectual property protection and fulfill reporting requirements. The Office of Intellectual Property Management makes this process quick and easy.

Learn About Invention Disclosure Process

In its role as the university's technology licensing office, the Office of Intellectual Property Management works to commercialize promising scientific discoveries and inventions. See the steps in this process.

Learn About E2E Commercialization Process


Inventions that are novel, non-obvious and useful can be patented. This includes new processes, machines, articles of manufacture, compositions of matter, and improvements to existing inventions.

The cost of patent filing and prosecution varies depending on the complexity of the inventions, the number of claims, and the chosen patent attorney. Typical costs range from $30,000 to $50,000 for a single patent in single jurisdiction. As more filings are made costs increase exponentially.

The process of filing and prosecuting a patent application can take several years. The initial filing typically takes a few days to weeks to prepare. At Tulane, our first filing is often a provisional application, which lasts for one year. If advanced, a non-provisional is filed which followed by examination by the patent office, which can take several years.

Public disclosure includes any presentation, publication, or use of the invention that makes it available to the public. Once an invention is publicly disclosed, it may lose its patent eligibility in most countries.

A patent filing consists of a specification, drawings, and claims. The specification describes the invention in detail, the drawings illustrate the invention visually, and the claims define the legal scope of the invention.

Inventors typically assign all rights to their inventions to their employer or institution as part of their onboarding paperwork. The same is true at Tulane. This employee invention assignment is formalized through ongoing assignment paperwork during the patent application process. Tulane licenses its interest in the assigned IP to commercializing entities.

The University's IP policy outlines the revenue sharing agreement for inventions owned by the University. Generally, inventors receive a share of any net revenue generated from the licensing or commercialization of their inventions.

Patent claims define the legal scope of protection for an invention. The goal is to draft claims that are broad enough to protect the invention from infringement but narrow enough to be patentable.

Patent family development refers to filing independently patent families for an invention in multiple countries. This allows for broader protection of the invention and increases the potential for licensing and commercialization.

OIPM offers various resources to assist faculty and staff inventors with the patenting process. These resources include educational workshops, individual guidance and assessment on ideas and invention at the disclosures and conception stages, and assistance with IP strategy development and protection.