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 Patenting and Licensing Process

  Role of the Inventor

The inventor plays a critical role in the Office of Technology Development's (OTD) decision making process. Each year, OTD receives more than 50 invention disclosures or approximately one per week. Important information that inventors might provide include:

  • Key benefits and commercial advantages: Some new discoveries result in products that displace products already on the market. In order to gain market share, the new product must provide some significant advantage to either the manufacturer or the end-user. Improved performance, cost savings, time-saving, and multi-functionality are all significant benefits that could encourage consumers to switch.
  • Target companies: Inventors are OTD's greatest resource for locating potential licensees because they are experts in the field of the invention. The office can always benefit from a list of companies (and, if possible, contacts) that may be interested in a license. Please note, however, that inventors should not disclose their technology to a company prior to either filing a patent application or signing a confidentiality agreement. Disclosing an invention could jeopardize OTD's ability to obtain patent protection.

Inventors can also assist the office by:

  • being responsive to OTD and patent counsel requests. When investors invest their own time along side OTD, the rewards will be greater.
  • keeping OTD informed about publications or interactions with companies pertaining to the invention.
  • continuing to follow global scientific developments in the field during the licensing process. If an inventor sees a new publication or notices a new technology at a conference exhibit that might be infringing on the inventor's patent, please inform the OTD staff.
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Office of Technology Development

8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226


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Main Office Phone:   414-955-4362
Main Office Fax:       414-955-6619


Joseph Hill, PhD
Vice President
Office of Technology Development


Kalpa Vithalani, PhD
Licensing Manager
Office of Technology Development


James Antczak, PhD
Licensing Manager
Office of Technology Development