Why Disclose

Technology commercialization is all about maximizing the impact of the research from your laboratory through commercial relationships. The purpose behind licensing is to catalyze the development of promising technologies into products and services that will benefit the public.

The Faculty Guide to Commercialization provides a resource that describes key elements of the commercialization process. Read the guide if:

• You have questions about the licensing process.
• You have questions about whether a discovery in your lab might be patentable.
• You are interested in pursuing commercialization grant funding.

Read the Guide to Commercialization online or contact blg@bcm.edu for a printed copy of the guide.

What to Disclose

Technology that solves or addresses an unmet need.

Examples of technologies that are frequently disclosed include therapeutic compositions and methods, vaccines, devices, diagnostics, software and smart phone applications, educational materials, as well as research tools such as knockout mice, antibodies, vectors, and cell lines that have been engineered to have special characteristics. Note: For the purpose of this section, the terms “technology” and “invention” may be used interchangeably.

When to Disclose

Prior to any public presentation or disclosure, including meeting abstracts, oral presentations, and online and print publications.

If the technology is one that may require the preparation and filing of a patent in order to be successfully commercialized (this group would generally include therapeutic compositions and methods, medical devices, and some diagnostics), it is important to disclose the technology prior to any public presentation or disclosure of it. Many meeting abstracts are published online well in advance of the scientific meeting or conference, making it imperative to disclose the invention to BLG prior to any description of the invention appearing online. Ideally, we’d strongly like to avoid the scenario of a “rush” patent filing to try to beat online publication of an abstract, especially if there are aspects of the invention that haven’t been developed or described, such that we end up filing an application that may not adequately capture and claim important aspects of the invention.

Why disclose before public presentation?

The reason that you should disclose your technology to BLG prior to any public disclosure of the invention is linked to the fact that the ability to patent the invention in most countries in the world is permanently lost once the invention is publicly disclosed. Most countries in the world have a requirement for absolute novelty in order for an invention to be patentable. The United States does represent an exception to this practice, such that a patent application can be filed within one year of the date of the initial public disclosure – this is known as the “grace period.” However, it is important to stress that it is to your advantage, and to the college’s, to file an application before any potential patentability rights are lost through a public disclosure.

How to Disclose

Submitting your disclosure is a simple process that you can do using BLG’s online disclosure submission application (requires Baylor login).

Before getting started, you’ll need the following information:

  • The names of the contributors to the technology/invention, their contact information and their respective percentage contribution to the technology
  • The identities of any funding sources that were used to support the development of the technology, including grant numbers
  • A description of the technology
  • Public disclosure of the technology/invention if it has been disclosed public-ally
  • Third party use of the technology/invention if it has been offered for sale or use to any party outside your laboratory

Learn more about disclosure and how the BLG can support you in the Guide to Commercialization.