Industry Relations and Technology Transfer

Invention Disclosure and Evaluation

IRTTO can make the Invention Disclosure process easier for you. Contact our office first so we can provide support before you begin your Invention Disclosure Form.

Submitting an Invention Disclosure Form is an important first step in the process of documenting your invention and disclosing your new idea. It serves as a basis to allow our office to conduct a marketability and patentability evaluation of the technology and facilitates the filing of a patent application when appropriate. We welcome an opportunity to discuss your ideas and discoveries well before you disclose an invention in order to provide the best support and develop the best commercialization strategy for your discovery.

The invention disclosure is simple and easy to complete, creates a written record of your invention and facilitates the technology transfer process.

Investigators are encouraged to submit an Invention Disclosure Form as early as possible, preferably weeks to months in advance of publicly presenting or publishing the details of an invention. This allows IRTTO to best protect your intellectual property rights. Making a public disclosure prior to filing a patent application may limit the ability to obtain patent protection and may reduce the commercial value of an invention.

Invention Evaluation Process

IRTTO begins evaluating the patentability and commercial potential of inventions upon receipt of an Invention Disclosure Form. We work closely with you during this process to best assess your technology’s commercial potential and keep you informed. The invention evaluation process involves:

1. Receipt of Invention Disclosure
Each inventor at Fred Hutch is assigned a licensing associate from IRTTO. The licensing associate coordinates the invention disclosure review process and serves as his/her main point of contact throughout the tech transfer process.

2. Meeting with Inventors
The licensing associate meets with the investigators to discuss the invention in greater detail, companies or laboratories that may be working in the same area, commercial applications and markets, references that may provide additional and useful information, and future work.

3. Invention Evaluation
IRTTO licensing team, which consists of licensing associates and the vice president of IRTTO, evaluates the patentability and commercial potential the invention and determines what type of intellectual property protection - most commonly a patent - should be pursued. Other types of intellectual property include copyrights and trademarks, and proprietary biological materials. Inventions such as antibodies, research reagents and software may not require patent protection to facilitate commercialization.

4. Intellectual Property Protection
When appropriate, IRTTO will pursue patent or other intellectual property protection of a novel discovery. The licensing associate will work with the investigators and outside patent attorneys to draft and file a patent application.

To learn more about the invention evaluation process and protecting intellectual property rights, visit our Resource Center.