New Mexico State University
As a key component in a rich statewide network of research, New Mexico State University community members are developing innovations in an array of disciplines and markets. New technology is continually emerging in subjects as diverse as biofuels, water management, security systems, and zero gravity environments – opportunities for investors seeking collaboration on exciting, early-stage innovations are available.
NMSU Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Process (for Inventors)
It starts with an idea…
NMSU researchers are inventors and innovators. To ensure the greatest range of opportunities for new technology, NMSU community members should be aware of the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer process.
1. Talk with Arrowhead Center as ideas are emerging. Although submitting an Invention Disclosure Form is the first formalized step required by the University, discussing new ideas with Arrowhead can help faculty, staff, and student researchers explore possibilities for commercialization at early stages. We can provide assistance to determine market feasibility. The sooner Arrowhead Center knows about emerging research, the more assistance we can provide in exploring opportunities to move inventions from campus to market.
2. Submit an Invention Disclosure Form. As soon as possible, and at least 60 days before any public disclosure of inventions, complete an Invention Disclosure Form, which provides information on basic technical specifications of the invention, along with testing results, potential commercial applications, and financial sponsorship. You may submit the form online at the link above or as a hardcopy to the Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer.
3. Arrowhead Meets with You. Members of the Arrowhead tea m will meet with you to learn more a bout your invention and gather additional information, such as drafts of scholarly articles, materials for conference presentations, or write-ups for potential investors. We will also answer any questions you have and provide information on the next step of the IP process: the Vetting Committee.
4. Intellectual Property Vetting Committee. The IPVC is a group of NMSU researchers, administrators, and business specialists tasked with deciding whether the University will elect title to NMSU inventions, based on the commercial potential of the technology. The Committee meets monthly – you can expect to attend a meeting within two months of submitting an Invention Disclosure.
At the meeting, you will present a brief (approximately ten minute/five-or-so PowerPoint slides) overview of your work, including a basic technical overview and an emphasis on potential commercial and market applications of the technology. Committee members may ask questions to clarify any confusion. You will be informed of the Committee’s decision within seven days. If the Committee votes to elect title to the technology, we will proceed to Step 5 (Intellectual Property Protection). Otherwise, the Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer will take steps to release the technology.
5. Intellectual Property Protection. Should NMSU, through Arrowhead Center, elect title to your technology, we will initiate the process of seeking legal protection. Working with you and our excellent patent counsel at Peacock Myers, P.C. (Albuquerque, NM), we will determine the best means of safeguarding your invention. Your input is essential at this stage of the IP process – inventor collaboration ensures the best possible protection for inventions. Arrowhead will work with you and our attorneys to share information, address questions or concerns, and provide frequent updates.
If you have any questions regarding the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer process, please contact 646-1434.
What is intellectual property? Intellectual property (IP) consists of the products of creative processes, such as new materials, processes, instruments, demonstration devices, computer programs, works of art and literature, and films, among others. While IP clearly differs from other types of more tangible property, it still requires careful protection. This link provides a great overview of examples of IP and the protection accorded to each.
What is technology transfer? According to AUTM, technology transfer is the process of transferring scientific findings from one organization to another for the purpose of further development and commercialization. Universities engage in this work as discoveries made on campus are moved to larger markets. Through technology transfer, more people can benefit from university innovations and ground-breaking advancements can reach larger audiences.
What is an invention? An invention must fulfill three requirements – it must be new (or “novel”), useful, and unobvious. A solution to a problem, something that satisfies a need, improvements to older inventions, a process, a method, a composition of matter – all of these (and much more) can be inventions.
Who owns the IP created at NMSU – the inventor or the University? While the details of this issue can be explored further in NMSU's various policies, the basic answer is “It depends.” Any IP developed by an NMSU employee and related to their regularly assigned duties and any IP developed with significant use of NMSU resources belongs to NMSU (with earnings shared with the inventor). In the case of grants, contracts, and consulting agreements through NMSU, IP ownership will be determined in accordance with the terms of the agreements (with policies on University employment and use of University resources in effect).
Arrowhead can assist inventors with IP belonging solely to them through a written agreement of the responsibilities and rights of each party.
What is the process for disclosing an invention to NMSU? Please see NMSU Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Process.
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