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Technology Transfer

...the process of transitioning technologies from the research lab to the marketplace.

It involves

  • the disclosure of protectable discoveries created by university faculty, staff, or students,
  • determining the appropriate protection of those discoveries with the intent of commercializing those discoveries for public benefit.

All intellectual property developed by ISU faculty, students and staff falls under the ISU intellectual property policy ISUPP 7010.

Step 1: Invention Disclosure

Submit an Invention Disclosure Form* describing the invention in detail: its stage of development, whether any external funding was used in the creation of the invention, the name of the inventor(s), if there have been any public disclosures or publications.

*contact Pati Spotts for a copy.

Step 2: Evaluation

The Office for Research reviews the invention disclosure for its patentability, potential commercial value and for the best modes of intellectual property protection and commercialization. A meeting will be set up with the researcher to discuss the invention. If the invention is useful, novel, and non-obvious to those skilled in the field, then a decision is made on whether or not to file a patent application.

Step 3: Patent Application

In the US, there is a grace period of one year between the public disclosure of an invention and the deadline for filing a patent application. However, the US follows a first to file rule. The patent is granted to the inventor who is the first to file a patent application, regardless of the date of invention.

All patentable inventions must be:

Described in sufficient detail so that  one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention
Claimed in clear and definite terms

What can’t be patented?

Laws of Nature
Physical Phenomena
Abstract ideas
Literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works –these would fall under copyright protection

For more information on patents visit US Patent and Trademark Office at

At present, ISU does not have a formal process for the steps after a patent application is filed.

The Office for Research, General Counsel’s Office and the College of Business are assisting with Steps 4, 5 and 6.

Step 4: Assessment and Marketing

Once a patent application has been filed, an assessment of the technology will be done. Details from this type of assessment can then be used to market the technology.

Step 5: Licensing of Patents

ISU’s goal is to put our inventions and discoveries in the hands of the public. Patented inventions are transferred to industry through a variety of licensing arrangements.

Step 6: Commercialization

If a licensing agreement has been executed, the University would monitor the licensee’s business development and compliance of performance milestones, coordinating patent prosecution, processing license income and distributing revenue according to the University’s IP Policy.