Office of the General Counsel

Disclosing an Invention or Discovery

As soon as you believe you have a potentially patentable invention or discovery, you should notify the UNCW Office of Technology Transfer (OTT). OTT is located in Hoggard Hall 172. You may contact Dr. Stephen Meinhold x23223. They will explain not only how technology transfer is handled and processed at UNCW, but the protection measure, services, and support that can be provided by the university in exploring potential applications for the subject discovery or invention. The OTT staff can also assist you with the Record of Invention form -- the first step in initiating the process -- a pdf fillable form that will provide the information necessary to evaluate patentability, inventorship, scope of protection, and obligations to research sponsors external to the institution.

Please be aware that information regarding an invention must be kept confidential until a patent application is filed or certain patent rights may be lost - this may include a short delay in publishing findings, research results, and data. Information you provide on the ROI remains confidential, however, its disclosure to any individuals or entities outside the University without a signed non-disclosure agreement could result in the loss of rights in the subject invention.

An "enabling disclosure" constitutes any release of information enabling the inventor or others skilled in the art or discipline to reduce the invention to practice without any further exercise of inventive skill. A prejudicial disclosure can be easily avoided by the advance execution of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) by individuals or entities receiving information or materials associated with the subject discovery. Additionally, a patent filing protects the conception, and establishes a priority date and grace period for the invention's protection. It is, therefore, critical to avoid discussing the invention or releasing to any party 'enabling disclosures', including the completed ROI - this also includes the research sponsor until certain confidentiality agreements have been executed by all parties. Material Transfer and NDA Agreements may be accessed from the General Counsel website. You may contact the General Counsel's Office to assist you with information, advice, and questions regarding the content of confidentiality agreements.