University personnel who alone or in association with others create novel research results (e.g., inventions, technical data, and copyrightable works) with any use of University resources are responsible for disclosing the results to TTIC.
This is usually done through the submission of an invention disclosure form. When submitted, the Invention Disclosure Form initiates action by TTIC to investigate the protection (through patenting or other means), marketing and commercialization of the technology. The requirement to disclose is especially important for any inventions that are derived from external research support. Almost all funding sources, including the federal government, require that resulting inventions be reported to the University. Such obligations exist because reporting an invention to TTIC enables TTIC to begin seeking the appropriate intellectual property rights on behalf of the creator, the University and any sponsoring entity. Independently-owned technology need not be disclosed to TTIC unless the owner of the technology desires TTIC to commercialize the technology. In such cases, the technology should be submitted to TTIC using an invention disclosure form.
Tufts University Invention Disclosure Form
To disclose your discovery, please fill out the invention disclosure form. When doing so, keep in mind that timely disclosure is imperative. Reporting an invention to TTIC after or with insufficient time prior to any public disclosure of the invention (i.e., oral presentation, article publication, poster session, dissertation) may lead to the loss of intellectual property rights. Publicly disclosing an invention prior to filing for a patent may preclude patenting in foreign countries altogether, and may also preclude protection in the United States unless a patent application is filed within one year from the date of such public disclosure. Once a disclosure is received by TTIC, it is assigned within the office to the appropriate case manager for evaluation. TTIC will work with investigators to ensure that all inventors are correctly named, and that any co-owning institution or company is properly informed. In compliance with Federal regulations, TTIC is responsible for reporting all inventions made with government funding to the appropriate funding body. TTIC relies on information provided to the office in Invention Disclosure Forms for this purpose. It is also important to be in contact with the TTIC during the invention evaluation process, to continue a discussion of the technology and how it might be approached from a marketing perspective.
Why submit an invention disclosure form?
Submission of the form helps start communication between you and TTIC. Communication is an important part of the process and helps create an understanding of the research and how it can be applied to industry.
When to disclose?
It is important to disclose an invention whenever a significant discovery has been made. When in doubt, disclose. Public dissemination or discussion of research leading to an invention before a patent application is filed can limit or even eliminate its commercial value and the ability to get patent protection.
How to disclose?
Complete instructions on how to fill out and submit the disclosure are on the form.