Disclose an Invention

The Office of Technology Licensing encourages faculty, graduate students, and research staff to disclose their inventions to our office. Our mission is to see Princeton technologies make an impact in the world, and we will work with you to develop a patenting and licensing strategy. If you want to remain focused on your own research, we will actively market your technology to identify a licensee in industry. If you are curious about forming a startup company, we have many resources available to launch you on that path. 

If you think you have an innovation or discovery that has commercial potential, we encourage you to call or visit our office to discuss your ideas with us!

When to Disclose

Disclose your invention as soon as practicable but before you have presented it at any public forum including conferences and poster sessions and before it is published in any form including as an abstract or journal article or online. A publication or presentation can impact the legal status of your future patent.

Not sure if your invention has commercial potential? Call our Licensing Associates to discuss your invention, we encourage you to get in contact with our office as early as possible. By planning patent strategy well in advance, you can add significant value to your future intellectual property. 

How to Disclose

To disclose an invention:

  1. Download the Invention Disclosure Form
  2. Email it to a one of our Licensing Associates in the sidebar

To complete the form, you'll need the following information:

  • Inventorship: List yourself and your co-inventors. Start by listing any major contributors including when appropriate post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, undergraduate students and colleagues at other institutions. A patent attorney will make the final determination of inventorship under U.S. patent law.
  • Sponsorship: Supply all award and contract numbers for any government, corporate, foundation or internal support that helped fund the development of the project. Princeton University is responsible for ensuring all IP terms are in compliance with each funding agreement. See here for the Bayh-Dole Act (37 CFR 401).
  • Publications, Oral Presentations, Poster Sessions, Web Postings: Provide key dates of any past or future disclosures of the technology. Filing a patent after publication will potentially impact your intellectual property rights. If you have questions, call us.
  • References: To the extent possible, include copies of any publications by you or your co-inventors relative to this invention.  Include rough or first drafts of papers, experimental data sheets, and preprints.

What Happens Next

Once we receive your disclosure form, we will call you to set up a one-on-one meeting to discuss the potential for patenting and commercialization. During the process, our staff will explore potential commercialization strategies for your technology and engage the services of an outside patent attorney as appropriate. Throughout the process, OTL will communicate with you the status of our evaluation and ensure that agreements comply with applicable laws regarding federally funded research.

For further reading on Princeton University's Patent Policy, please see the Faculty Rules and Procedures, Ch. VIII. D. Intellectual Property.

Do you have an innovation or discovery?

Life Sciences

Cortney Cavanaugh, PhD
New Ventures and Licensing Associate
Office Phone

Chemistry, Materials & Engineering

Prabhpreet Gill
Technology Licensing Associate
Office Phone

Electrical Engineering, Optics, & Physics

Chris Wright
Head of Technology Transfer
Office Phone