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Options for Inventors

Please Note: This website is only for submission of ideas and inventions created by people while affiliated with Stanford University.

Please do not submit ideas to this portal unless you are or have been affiliated with Stanford University, Stanford Health Care or Lucile Packard Children's Hospital


Depending on the level of readiness of an idea, there are two options for how to engage OTL:

        1.  Talk with someone in OTL about the best time to submit a disclosure on the idea.

        2.   Submit an invention disclosure

How to decide:

1. When you submit a formal invention disclosure, it starts a clock with respect to reporting requirements to the Federal government, if there was Federal funding. This could lead to a rushed decision about relinquishing the invention back to the government. If you plan to keep the idea confidential within Stanford (no publications, open seminars, online manuscripts, poster or other public disclosure), and are not too worried about being “scooped” by researchers at another institution, then it may make sense to wait to file a formal invention disclosure until later. Hitting the “Talk with someone in OTL” above will initiate a conversation about the best timing.

2. If you do not yet have any data showing that the idea works, it probably is too early to file a patent application. However, we would suggest discussing your idea with someone in our office, so please hit the “Talk with someone in OTL” button.

3. If you plan to have any public disclosure (journal, online publishing, poster session, open seminar at Stanford or elsewhere) in the near future, please “Submit a formal invention disclosure.” If that public disclosure is to take place in less than 2 weeks, please also email the Licensing Associate that you generally work with, and copy This will ensure that we get to it right away.