Research and Economic Development

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Learn More about Technology Development and Transfer

For inventors, the technology transfer process can be viewed as a step-by-step process.

1. Communication

If you are interested in bringing your intellectual property to the marketplace, please contact the Office of Economic Development. The staff will talk with you about your ideas, findings, and goals and help you navigate the technology development and transfer process. For more information, please see Info for Inventors.

2. Disclosure

The second step is to complete a Research Disclosure Form. This officially informs the university of your research and facilitates an extensive evaluation of the invention/idea. It also assists the Office of Economic Development in fulfilling the reporting requirements of the university, the Board of Regents, and external funding agencies. This is a key step necessary for a proper prior art search and analysis, as well as protection through a patent application. If the prior art search indicates a likelihood of patent protection, a more thorough evaluation of the research will occur.

3. Evaluation

The Office of Economic Development, with assistance from the faculty inventor, will provide the research disclosure information, the results of the prior art search, and a preliminary commercialization analysis to UNLV’s Intellectual Property Committee. The Intellectual Property Committee will review the information and provide a recommendation as to whether it is beneficial for the university to proceed with a patent application.

4. Protection

If the university chooses to pursue patent protection, several meetings and exchanges of documents and information will occur between the Office of Economic Development and the faculty inventor(s). The office staff must determine who the inventors are according to U.S. law. If the invention is accepted for management by the university, a provisional patent application will be filed.

5. Marketing

While a provisional patent application is pending, the Office of Economic Development will work with you to create a marketing abstract. This abstract is a brief, non-technical description of your invention that will be used to market your work and attract a commercial partner.

6. Development

The Business Development Officer is available to assist inventors in evaluating the potential commercial applications of their intellectual property, inventions, and ideas, and will work with the faculty inventors to identify prospective companies that may be interested in negotiating a licensing agreement. (Licensing enables the university to grant rights to a company to begin commercial development of an invention for a fee.) If the inventor or an investor is interested in creating a start-up company to commercialize the intellectual property, the university will negotiate an appropriate agreement.

7. Management

If licensing occurs, UNLV will monitor the agreement to ensure contractual obligations are being fulfilled and to collect payments due under the license, consistent with the UNLV Intellectual Property Policy. The university also distributes royalties to the inventors as specified by this policy.