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What is a Provisional Patent?
A provisional application for patent is a U. S. national application for patent filed in the USPTO under 35 U.S.C. § 111(b). It allows filing without a formal patent claim, oath or declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement. It provides the means to establish an early effective filing date in a nonprovisional patent application filed under 35 U.S.C. § 111(a) and automatically becomes abandoned after one year. It also allows the term "Patent Pending" to be applied.

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What is a PCT?
PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) is an international patent application. It provides a mechanism by which an applicant can file a single application that, when certain requirements have been fulfilled, is equivalent to a regular national filing in each designated Contracting State. There are currently over 112 PCT Contracting States. For more information read: http://www.uspto.gov/main/glossary/What is a Provisional Patent?

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After the University submits my invention to patent counsel for preparation of a patent application, what will my involvement be?
  • You will be asked to provide the patent counsel with additional information needed to prepare a draft application.
  • You will also have an opportunity to review the application and make comments before it is filed with the U.S. Patent Office.
  • Work closely with the Technology Commercialization Office on finding a licensee.


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How is the license income distributed to faculty? What standards does the U.S. Patent Office use in granting patents? 

The Patent Office requires that an invention be:

  • New - not known or used by others in the U.S. or described anywhere in the world in a publication.
  • Useful - something that can be used in society.
  • Not obvious to one skilled in the art - something that would not be known or apparent to anyone with knowledge in the science or particular area of an invention.

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How long does it take to obtain a patent? What is the cost of obtaining a patent? 
It takes about 2-5 yrs to get a patent. It costs approximately between $10k-$30k to get a patent.

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What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property (IP) is a term that encompasses all forms of creativity that are protected either under statutes or by common law. It includes inventions, discoveries, know-how, processes, unique materials, copyrightable works, original data and other creative or artistic works. Intellectual Property also includes the physical embodiment of intellectual effort. For example, IP can be models, machines, devices, apparatus, instrumentation, circuits, computer programs and visualizations, biological materials, chemicals, other compositions of matter, plans and records of research.

Some IP is protected by statute or legislation, such as patent, copyright, trademark, service mark, mask work or by plant variety protection certificate and confidentiality agreements. Often a specific technology is protected using multiple mechanisms. For example, some computer software can be protected by copyright, patent, trade secret, trademark, and content.


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Who prepares and prosecutes patent applications? 
We have numerous outside patent attorneys who prepare and prosecute patent applications.

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What do I need to prove my invention or discovery? 

  • Good laboratory records are essential.
  • Laboratory notebooks should be maintained regularly and results of experiments should be kept in a safe place.
  • Drawings and photographs, if applicable, should be dated and retained.

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Do you file foreign patents? 
Yes, we do file for PCT which is an application to be filed with the USPTO for filing international applications.

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If I invent something at Drexel, does it belong to the University?
Yes. All inventions or discoveries shall be deemed of proprietary interest to Drexel University if the inventor was employed or otherwise financially supported by the University or if he/she used University facilities, materials or time to conceive and develop the discovery or invention.

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How is the license income distributed to faculty? 
For the answer to the question, please click on the link provided by our policies. http://www.drexel.edu/provost/policies/patent_policy.asp

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Do you write or help to write business plans? 
We do not write business plans for the inventor, but we do help and guide the inventors in writing a professional business plan.

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What is the role of Drexel University’s Technology Commercialization Office?
Our responsibility is to protect University IP through patents, trademarks and copyrights, and to market, and license the technology for commercial development and product sales. This office also negotiates and provides assistance in all IP-related agreements.

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Does Drexel take equity as part of a licensing deal? 
Yes, we do take equity as a part of licensing deal.

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What is an invention? 
An invention is a novel and useful idea resulting from study and experiment, and may relate to a process, machine, article of manufacture, composition of matter, or any improvement thereof.

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How do I disclose my invention?
Please complete the Invention Disclosure Form, providing detailed information, and send it back to the Technology Commercialization Office. You may either download the Invention Disclosure Form from our website or if you would like a hard copy, contact us by phone or by email.

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What discoveries or inventions are patentable? 

  • A machine, a process or method of doing something, any item that is manufactured.
  • Composition of matter (a new chemical or a new mixture of old elements) are all patentable

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What are the functions performed by licensing officers?
  • Protecting intellectual property via patents or copyrights
  • Finding a corporate partner to commercially develop the technology
  • Negotiating and overseeing suitable license agreements

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What is not patentable? 
  • Algorithms, principles of nature or products of nature and matters against public policy or morals are not patentable.
  • For example, a natural gene is not patentable, but the CDNA for the gene may be patentable.

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What is the role of Drexel University’s Technology Commercialization Office?
Our responsibility is to protect University IP through patents, trademarks and copyrights, and to market, and license the technology for commercial development and product sales. This office also negotiates and provides assistance in all IP-related agreements.

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Can my collaborator be a co-inventor for patent purposes?

An inventor, for patent purposes, is one who:

  • Has made a significant intellectual contribution to the development of the claimed invention.
  • The status of inventor is determined by patent counsel.
  • The standards for co-inventorship of a patent are more stringent than for authorship on a paper. A person who follows your instructions in working on an experiment is probably not a co-inventor.
  • More than one inventor may be named on a patent.