Why does McGill assess reported inventions?
Before devoting financial and physical resources, McGill needs to determine whether a technology has commercial potential and if the invention should be protected via patent or copyright.
What is involved in an assessment?
The tools typically used in an assessment include:
- Market study
- Intellectual property search
- Review of previous disclosures
- Discussion of potential partners
- Potential path to market (licensing versus a start-up)
- Identification of any licensing barriers
What is my role in the assessment?
The researchers play a key role in the assessment, as they have the deepest knowledge of the invention and may have already received external technical feedback on the technology. Some specific contributions include:
- Provide a list of publications, grants, and disclosures
- Have companies already been contacted about this technology? Have they contacted you?
- Participate in patent searches and review prior art to assist in determining novelty and non-obviousness
- Declare any conflicts of interest
Based on the outcome of the assessment, what happens next?
If the assessment is positive, the invention will move to the next phase of the technology transfer process, where the strategy for protecting and commercializing the technology will be developed as part of the commercialization plan. If the assessment is negative, the invention will be declined by the Office of Innovation (the Office). If desired, McGill’s rights in the technology can be transferred to the inventors so they can pursue commercialization on their own, as described in the Policy on Inventions and Software (http://www.mcgill.ca/research/researchers/policies).