Patenting & Licensing Process
Once the MCW Office of Technology Development (OTD) receives an invention disclosure, it arranges a meeting with the inventor(s) and the appropriate OTD staff. During the meeting, the inventor explains the discovery and is asked a series of questions about the discovery and the general state of the art. This helps the staff determine its patentability and commercial potential. Typical questions in the meeting could include what exactly is new about the discovery, when and how the discovery was made, what would the commercial product look like, what is the commercial value of the technology, and what companies might be interested in licensing the technology to produce commercial products.
After the meeting, the staff conducts further due diligence in order to determine the appropriate course of action. The patent literature is searched to determine the likelihood of getting a patent and how broadly the discovery could be protected. The invention is also evaluated for commercial potential, likelihood of licensing, encumbrances and other issues that may complicate patenting and licensing efforts. It usually takes 4-6 weeks for an evaluation to be complete. After evaluation, a decision is made to either: 1) pursue intellectual property protection through a patent, copyright, trademark and/or other means, or 2) Decline to pursue the protection and licensing of a discovery in which case the rights can be given to the inventor.