Washington State University
BUSINESS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
35.45
Revised 10-13
Intellectual Property Administration
335-5526

Recordkeeping and Publication Guidelines for Inventors

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OVERVIEW

To safeguard the possibility of patenting inventions, University researchers are encouraged to:

RECORD KEEPING

To help prove facts and priority dates relative to invention conception, the inventor is encouraged to commit the details of the invention to writing at or near the time of invention conception. Each page should be signed and dated by the inventor and a disinterested witness who understands the contents.

Daily Record

Ideally, the author should maintain an accurate daily record of research activities in a bound laboratory notebook, concurrent with the work.

PREMATURE PUBLICATION

A prior publication by the inventor which describes the invention can invalidate a patent application. Patent applications to the U.S. Patent Office must be filed within one year of the first public disclosure of the invention.

Generally, disclosure to and evaluation by the Intellectual Property Committee should occur before publication occurs. Authorization must be received from the Intellectual Property Committee before potentially patentable inventions are publicized.

Proposals

Including data concerning a potentially patentable invention in a proposal could constitute publication if a sponsoring agency makes the information available to the public at large.

When agencies receive requests from outside parties to review grant or contract applications, most attempt to contact the submitting investigator to ascertain that the requested documents do not contain invention data the rights to which could be adversely affected by disclosure.

If the principal investigator believes the data concerning a potentially patentable invention is contained in a proposal, the investigator should clearly indicate that the proposal contains proprietary or confidential information which, if released, could jeopardize valuable rights of Washington State University and/or the author(s).