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Submit Invention

On-line Disclosure Form

Available via the Researcher Portal.

Disclosure FAQs

We need your work address to contact you and your home address for patent filings and to mail royalty checks to you. We need your personal email to keep in touch with you should you no longer have a Stanford email. Please keep us updated with your contact information via the Researcher Portal.

Under federal law, the University is required to report to the Government inventions created under sponsored research. If the University decides not to take title to such an invention (that is, decides not to keep it), then the Government has rights to it. If the Government doesn't wish to pursue it, the invention may be assigned back to the inventors. Non-Government sponsors may also have intellectual property clauses and obligations attached to such sponsorship with which OTL must comply. 

As detailed as possible. All information provided to OTL will be kept confidential. Without adequate information, OTL cannot perform a complete evaluation of the invention's licensing potential, nor can we obtain an accurate legal opinion as to whether it is patentable. The first meeting of the Associate and the inventor(s) is a time when the invention may be discussed in greater detail. If you want to see the questions that will be asked on the invention disclosure, see Invention Disclosure Questions. OTL accepts online invention disclosures only.  

This information helps provide documentation of your invention and diligent reduction to practice Keeping dated lab notebooks that are witnessed by others, and other records of your research is thus important for patenting. The dates of disclosure (this includes orally at a public meeting, in writing, or offering it for sale) are also important because they can determine what patent rights, if any, are available.

Although the America Invents Act (AIA) law does preserve the traditional one-year grace period for an inventor to file a patent application after making a public disclosure, OTL feels it makes more sense strategically to proceed as if the U.S. had transitioned to a true “first to file” system, such as exists in Europe. Thus, it will be very important for inventors to disclose inventions and work with us prior to publication. OTL has made a decision that we will not file patent applications if the invention has been publicly disclosed prior to filing.

Anything that is readily available to the public (a journal paper, a conference presentation, an online publication, even a dissertation indexed at the library) that describes the basic ideas in enough detail that someone else would be able to make and use the invention; i.e., those ideas that are new. Showing or telling these ideas may also constitute disclosure, as does selling or offering for sale a prototype of the invention. 

No. We encourage Stanford inventors to file an online invention disclosure to OTL, or at least ask OTL staff, several weeks before they publicly disclose a new invention. The earlier you start talking to OTL, the more time and better options will be available to plan a good strategy for your invention.