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Since patent rights are affected, it is best to submit an Invention Disclosure well before communicating or disclosing your invention to people outside the Duke community.  There are significant differences between the U.S. and other countries as to how early publication affects a potential patent. Once publicly disclosed (published or presented in some form), an invention may have restricted or minimal potential for patent protection outside of the United States. Be sure to inform the OTC licensing specialist assigned to you of any imminent or prior presentations, lectures, posters, abstracts, website descriptions, research proposal submissions, dissertation/masters theses, publications, or other public presentations that include the invention.

Ownership of inventions depends upon the employment status of the creators of the invention and their use of University facilities. Considerations include:

  • What is the source of the funds or resources used to produce the invention?
  • What was the employment status of the creators at the time the intellectual property was made?
  • What are the terms of any agreement related to the creation of the intellectual property

Criteria for ownership can be found in the University Patent Policy