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Oklahoma State University
Technology Development Center

A unit in the Division of the Vice President for Research

Invention Disclosure

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Invention Disclosure

Disclosure Form 

  1. Patentable Intellectual Property – (Invention Record and Report form)
  2. Copyrightable Intellectual Property (For Software & mobile apps)  – (Disclosure of Copyright Form)
  3. Plant Varieties - (Plant Variety Disclosure Form


Disclosure Explained

When a researcher/faculty of OSU has derived invention from their academic work, they should submit an invention disclosure detailing their invention to the Technology Development Center (TDC). One can download the appropriate Disclosure Form (referred in our website as Invention Record & Report From) from section 3a, answer all questions, and submit it to TDC.

The term “disclosure” as it is used in intellectual property has three meanings:  One is when an inventor notifies an associated or affiliated agency (in OSU’s case, the TDC) that he/she has an invention and describes the invention in detail. Another type is a ”public” disclosure. This is when an inventor makes the invention known to the general public, in a tangible form. A public disclosure of the invention before filing for a patent may bar one from obtaining a patent (More info on this in section 5). The third is a confidential disclosure, when an inventor makes an invention known to a third party agency, but under an agreement of confidentiality.

It is important to understand that a disclosure to TDC does not immediately protect the invention.  For example, TDC has to file a patent application for the invention to be protected through the patent process.


IP Policy

Handling of the Intellectual Property generated at Oklahoma State University is governed by the following university policy and procedure:

  1. OSU Policy and Procedures No. 1-0202 -  Intellectual Property


Inventorship & Authorship

Who is an inventor?

An inventor is someone who contributes to the conception of the invention.  An inventor is not an individual who is part of reducing the concept to practice.  Indeed, simple reduction to practice does not constitute inventorship.  Neither does testing, data generation or interpretation. 

A patent application needs to have at least one inventor, and can have as many as contributed to the concept.  It cannot include anyone who did not contribute to the concept, but must include everyone who contributed to said concept. It is absolutely critical that the correct inventors are listed, because a patent may be invalid otherwise.

Copyright and Authorship

Copyright and authorship are similar to inventorship in that they deal with concepts and ideas. Copyright protection exists from the moment of fixation of a work for all original works or authorship fixed in ANY tangible medium.  Copyright does not protect an abstract idea but rather only a specific, concrete expression of an idea.  Example:  LOVE is an abstract idea.  It cannot be copyrighted, but any concrete expression of love (songs, odes, books, paintings, etc.) that are concrete expressions of love, can be and regularly are, copyrighted.  FIXATION: Recorded, transcribed, or stored for more than a fleeting duration. A work is FIXED when its embodiment is “sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more than a transitory duration” (17 U.S.C. section 101)