Intellectual Property Protection
Patents · Copyrights · Licensing Agreements
Materials Transfer Agreements
University-Industry Research Agreements
As centers for the creation and dissemination of new knowledge, universities have an obligation to participate responsibly in a process that has come to be known as "technology transfer." In our society, universities engage in technology transfer in order that new discoveries and innovations developed by faculty, students and staff will lead to useful products and processes, ultimately for public benefit. Without a good understanding of the protections afforded by law to intellectual properties and the technology transfer process, the value of a discovery or invention can be significantly diminished. Indeed, major developments and innovations may never reach the public if proper protocol is not observed or legal requirements are unknown to inventors.
The University's official policy on patents and inventions is published as Faculty Policy Series # 34. A policy on copyrighted materials is provided as Faculty Policy Series # 37. The Office for Research and Sponsored Programs is on hand to assist the University community in matters of intellectual property protection and technology transfer. We are also available to speak with representatives from industry who may be interested in University expertise, technologies or inventions. For assistance, contact Sofia Kakoulidis in the Office for Research and Sponsored Programs (telephone: 516-463-6810).
Faculty, staff and students are reminded that laws governing the protection of intellectual properties are time-sensitive and can be unforgiving. Please contact this office as early as possible if you anticipate the filing of a patent application. Contact with our office should be made prior to any publication, public presentation or other disclosure of your work. When warranted, our office can assist in the development of confidentiality agreements that would permit the limited disclosure of proprietary information to appropriate persons, e.g., potential collaborators, sponsors or business interests.
For your convenience, additional information on patents and other forms of intellectual property protection (e.g., copyright) can be found at the following locations:
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
- Research Corporation Technologies
- U.S. Copyright Office
- Association of University Technology Managers
- Council on Government Relations
- Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable
Conducting a Patent Search
An important early step in the patent application process involves the search for prior art. While a thorough patent search may require the assistance of professionals, initial searches by individual inventors are encouraged and can be very valuable. To search the patent database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Search, click here.