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Inspiring Innovation

Invention Disclosures

Our invention disclosure process allows innovative staff and students the ability to come up with new ideas and concepts while taking the first steps to protect their intellectual property.

As an innovative university, we support our community to be curious, experimental and explore new concepts. New ideas can be powerful opportunities to change industries, others’ lives, and the economy, but it’s important to protect the hard work of our innovators through appropriate intellectual property safeguards. If you come up with a new concept or invention at RGU, it may be worth completing an Invention Disclosure form.

If you have created a new invention, you can submit your Invention Disclosure form through our online form or you can request a form by contacting Graham Carter, Intellectual Property and Spinout Development Manager at g.carter@rgu.ac.uk


Submitting an Invention Disclosure

What is an Invention Disclosure?

An Invention Disclosure in the entry point for seeking Intellectual Property protection for work created by staff and research students. Historically it has particularly applied to the process of making patent applications. 

The university has a requirement to report patent applications and other aspects of its commercial activity based on intellectual property created from projects it supports and enables. 

The Invention Disclosure process is one route by which the university can become informed about projects which might have commercial potential and where it might be able to assist in developing a pathway to impact for the invention. It is never too early to speak with members of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group (EIG) if you have any ideas of a commercial or entrepreneurial nature.  You should free to get in touch with Graham Carter on g.carter@rgu.ac.uk or any member of the EIG for advice and guidance

What do I need to tell you about in my Invention Disclosure?

You will need you to tell us about your invention, what you have created, how it might be used, and who you think might be interested in making use of your invention. We also need some background information relating to the invention. In particular we will ask about how the project may have been funded, who has been involved and if you have published or spoken publicly about your project. 

Don’t worry if you are unable to answer all of the questions at one time. We treat your submission as a place holder and will work with you to populate a more complete picture. If you are unsure about how to answer any of the questions or feel free to get in touch with Graham Carter on g.carter@rgu.ac.uk or any member of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group for advice and guidance

When do I need to make an Invention Disclosure?

You should make an Invention Disclosure as soon as you have created a new piece of work which may be exploitable for purposes other than purely scholarly or academic use. 

A strong trigger for making an Invention Disclosure would be if you have been approached externally for access to your work. Other triggers may be that you believe your work may have application beyond academic use or may be exploitable in a related field or sector.  If you believe others may pay to access your work, then you should make an Invention Disclosure.  

It is never too early to speak with members of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group if you have any ideas of a commercial or entrepreneurial nature.

Does the requirement to provide an Invention Disclosure apply to me? 

The requirement to provide an Invention Disclosure applies to all members of staff under a contract of employment and also other persons who may participate in RGU research or utilise RGU facilities of resources.  This includes research students who may not be under contract of employment with the University.  If you are unsure if the requirement applied to you contact Graham Carter on g.carter@rgu.ac.uk or any member of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group.

I am not interested in spin out companies or commercialisation why is it mandatory for me to make an Invention Disclosure?

There is an obligation on all staff and most students undertaking a research degree to notify the University when they have created new intellectual property which may be commercially exploitable. 

There is no expectation or requirement on individuals submitting an Invention Disclosure that they will be involved in a spin out company or other commercial activity.  There is a requirement on the university that it must share any benefits of commercialisation with contributors of any commercialised IP. This is set out in the Policy on Intellectual Property Commercialisation.

I want to file a patent on something I’m developing in my research how do I go about doing this?

You need to make an Invention Disclosure. We will work with you to develop the Invention Disclosure to a point where it may be submitted to a Patent Attorney for evaluation. 

I am unsure if I need to make an invention disclosure who should I speak with for advice? 

Contact Dr Graham Carter who is the Intellectual Property and Spinout Development Manager on g.carter@rgu.ac.uk or you can speak with any member of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group to give advice or let you know about other programmes offered at RGU.

I have an idea for an innovation but haven’t done any work on it - do I need to make an invention disclosure?

If you are at the idea stage and have not begun to implement your idea then you may not be ready to make an Invention Disclosure. You should feel free to contact any member of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group for advice on how to develop your idea or simply for us to provide an impartial sounding board for your innovation. 

How do I submit an Invention Disclosure?

If you need to submit an Invention Disclosure, then you can either complete this online by clicking the link or you can contact Dr Graham Carter on g.carter@rgu.ac.uk to request the form


Support with Intellectual Property

Completing an Invention Disclosure is the first step in the process of commercialising innovation at the university. For some staff, they may choose to spin out their invention into a new company beyond the university. The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group at RGU provides a range of support to startups, spinouts and innovators.

If you are considering the potential of becoming a spinout, find out more about the process:

We run Intellectual Property workshops and Invention Disclosure briefing sessions throughout the year, find out about our latest events:

You can also book a consultation meeting with a member of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, either about your business idea or specifically about the invention disclosure process. 

If you have any questions or want to know more, then get in touch at innovation@rgu.ac.uk

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