Resources for Inventors
Technology Ventures is transitioning to a new database provider and the current online portal will be inactivated. During this transition period, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit a new invention disclosure. If you have any questions or need assistance with your disclosure, please contact Mark Lanoue at email@example.com.
Inventors can help make the environment cleaner, produce new drugs to save lives, create new, cleaner, renewable forms of energy, and invent new electronic and mechanical devices that make our lives easier. Technology Ventures welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the 'innovation through commercialization' process by facilitating a return on the investments the public, the University, and individual scientists and engineers have made in advancing knowledge.
The formal university-industry technology transfer process starts with a disclosure. Faculty, staff and students are asked to submit invention disclosures to Technology Ventures using the standard forms that are available in this section. Someone from our office will consult with you and then the Patent & Copyright Committee will review the disclosure and make a go/no go recommendation to the Chancellor. The cartoon below shows a schematic of the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
This page is intended to provide useful reference information for some of the more common issues pertaining to technology transfer, but does not provide definitive answers, as each situation is unique. Please contact our office for additional guidance.
Public Disclosure of Inventions
An invention that is the publically disclosed before it is the subject of a patent filing will lose all patent rights in most foreign countries. In the United States, an invention that is publically disclosed starts a one year clock on the time to file a patent application – that is, to have patent rights in the United States, an invention must be the subject of a patent application that is filed within one year of a public disclosure.
For these reasons, it is important to know what constitutes a public disclosure, and to be aware of the consequences of public disclosure. Generally, a public disclosure means that the invention has been revealed to the general public to such an extent that it would be possible for a person skilled in the art to produce the invention, or to practice the invention based on the information disclosed. If published information does not “enable” a person skilled in the art to know the invention, or to practice the invention, then the information is not a disclosure. For example, simply describing what an invention can do, without revealing how it is done, is not a disclosure for patent law purposes.
It is often necessary to reveal an invention to particular people for various reasons, say for example to discuss a possible business opportunity, or to discuss funding for future research. In these cases, an agreement can be made between the inventors or the inventor’s institution and other outside parties, so that the outside parties promise to keep information on the invention confidential. This type of agreement is called a “Confidentiality Agreement”, a CDA, also called a “Non-Disclosure Agreement” or an NDA. Information revealed to an outside party that has signed an NDA will not be counted as a public disclosure.
Not every disclosure constitutes a “public disclosure”. Below are listed some examples of a public disclosure.
- A thesis or dissertation that describes the invention and is then placed on the shelves of a library, even a small departmental library, constitutes a public disclosure.
- A disclosure that is published in a journal, a magazine, or newspaper, or any publication that is generally available to the public.
- A disclosure that is made available on a web site that is available for anyone to access is a public disclosure. Some people like to put lots of their personal information on social media websites, or personal websites, so that their friends and others can see what interesting things they have done. If they publish enabling information about an invention in this way, it is a public disclosure.
- Presentation of the invention at a conference attended by people who have not previously signed a CDA, whether or not the conference was “by invitation only”.
- A “Poster Presentation” at a conference, or even a poster placed in a hallway at the University, is a public disclosure if it reveals the invention to such an extent that the invention could be reproduced by someone skilled in the art.
The following are not public disclosures.
- Revealing the invention to someone who has signed a confidentiality agreement (CDA), or to persons at an organization that has signed a CDA.
- Telling your parents about an invention you made at the University.
- Revealing an invention to people who are also employed at the same University or Organization that owns the invention, such as a University that employs the inventor.
- Revealing an invention in an application for funding, such as an SBIR application, where the application is understood to be held in confidence by the receiving party. If you are an inventor at the University of Arkansas, and you are not sure if a particular situation may be a confidential disclosure, you are urged to contact Technology Ventures beforehand so that we can assist in protecting your invention from an unwanted public disclosure.
U of A Science & Technology
- U of A Research & Economic Development
- Arkansas Research & Technology Park
- Research and Sponsored Programs
- GENESIS Technology Incubator
- High Density Electronics Center (HiDEC)
State Research & Development
- Arkansas Department of Economic Development
- Fund for Arkansas Future
- Accelerate Arkansas
- Arkansas Small Business Development Center
- Arkansas Science and Technology Authority
- Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education
- Google Patent Search Engine
- Google Scholar Search Engine
- Patent FAQ's
- U.S. Copyright Office
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
- USPTO IP Awareness Assessment Tool
The Inventor's Handbook
University researchers, through their creative efforts, may make discoveries which
qualify to be patented or copyrighted. This handbook is intended to enable them to
know at such times what to do, when to do it, where to obtain forms, and whom to ask
UA Start-up Handbook
Board Policy 210.1 (PDF)
Board Policy 210.2 (PDF)