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Invention Reporting Process

All Boston College full time, part time, and temporary faculty members, post-docs, graduate students, and staff members are bound by the University‚Äôs Intellectual Property Policy (see sidebar) requirement to report any innovation made as part of university employment. 

The information on this page provides a brief description of the process involved in innovation protection.  Additional resources including forms and policies related to the innovation protection subject are available in the sidebar.

The invention reporting process for software is unique (see Software).

Boston College OTTL

Forms and Documents


  1. Disclosure
    1. If an individual has an interest in protecting a potential innovation, the inventor can submit an Invention Disclosure Form (see sidebar) to the Boston College Office for Technology Transfer and Licensing (OTTL) for review.
      • This form critically serves as the basis for a patent application and must include a complete description of the invention, relevant background information, dated signatures of all inventors, and contact information.
      • Inventors should be aware that lab records and public disclosures can affect the ability to obtain a patent (see Notebooks and Publications).
    2. If an individual has not already done so, each inventor should also submit an Intellectual Property Agreement Form (see sidebar) along with an Invention Disclosure Form.

  2. Patentability and Commercialization Evaluation
    1. Within 5 business days of initial disclosure, OTTL confirms receipt of an invention disclosure with the inventor by establishing a primary point of contact and an assigned technology case number.
    2. Within four months of initial disclosure, the OTTL Director reviews the disclosure for completeness and determines the technical merit, patentability or protectability, and commercial potential of the invention.  A written initial invention evaluation assessment is provided to an inventor for review and comment. 
    3. Within six months of initial disclosure, OTTL determines if an invention will receive university support to patent.
    4. If OTTL pursues patent protection of an invention, OTTL then determines the commercialization strategy (see Marketing).

  3. Protection
    1. If patent protection of an invention is pursued, within twelve months of initial disclosure, OTTL, inventors, and patent attorneys work collaboratively on the patent prosecution process.
      • Patent prosecution requires a 3-5 year time commitment.
      • Inventors have 2-4 week deadlines every 6-12 months to provide responses to patent prosecution matters.