Invention Disclosure

Inventions, discoveries and emerging technologies are flowing through the innovation pipeline at NDSU.  The office of Industry Engagement and Intellectual Property (IEIP) works with the NDSU Research Foundation (NDSURF) to protect and promote these inventions and the intellectual property (IP) rights therein. 

A researcher can contact IEIP to discuss their research and secure guidance to determine if a discovery is sufficiently developed to complete an invention reporting form (links are below). An invention reporting form should always be completed at least a month before any public disclosure of an invention is planned.  Early reporting will provide adequate time for IEIP to review the invention and secure IP protection when appropriate. 

Disclosing an Invention at NDSU

An invention disclosure should be filed as soon as is practical. Filing a disclosure will start an interval review of the proposed invention that could result in the filing of a patent application for the invention disclosed. 

In order to file a patent application, the invention must be both conceived and reduced to practice. 

  • Conception is the "formation in the mind of the inventor, of a definite and permanent idea of the complete and operative invention, as it is hereafter to be applied in practice" Hybritech Inc. v. Monoclonal Antibodies, Inc., 802F.2d1367, 1376 (Fed. Cir.1986) (quoting 1 Robinson On Patents 532 (1890)). Additional information about conception of patents is available through the US Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Reduction to practice generally occurs when the inventor carries out the series of steps that were conceived, it is literally the “making” of the invention or a prototype.  Constructive reduction to practice is a detailed disclosure of the steps necessary to allow someone skilled in the art to make or use the invention and is typically completed by the drafting of patent claims. 

Submitting an Invention Disclosure for new Technologies, Plant Varieties or Horticultural Cultivars

Invention disclosures for technologies, plant varieties and horticulture cultivars can now be submitted through the NDSU Inventor Portal, an online, iterative, process that includes the ability to digitally sign invention disclosures.   Accessing the portal is as easy as:

  1. Go to the NDSU Inventor Portal.
  2. Choose a User Name and Password.
  3. Click on the "Request Account" button.
  4. Enter your NDSU email address on the Request New Account page and type in the code from the CAPTCHA image.  Click on the "Submit" button.
  5. Follow the instructions in the verification email to complete the process to set up an account.

Submitting an Invention Disclosure for new Software

Disclosures for software can be done by completing the Word the form below and submitting to McKenna Tysdal.

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