Intellectual Property Management

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property is the broad term given to the discoveries and/or materials that may be protected under  patent, trademark and/or copyright laws.

In addition to patents, what are the different types of Intellectual Property used by OHSU?

A trademark, by definition, includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. 

Copyright, by definition, is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.


Who owns the inventions created at OHSU?

The ownership of the discoveries disclosed to the TTBD office will depend on the employment status of the inventors listed on the technology disclosure form. Upon review by a TTBD Technology Development Manager, there may be other considerations on inventorship, including, non-OHSU inventors that have contributed to your discovery, any research agreements in place that supported the creation of your invention, and the source of any funds that supported the creation of your invention.

As a general policy, OHSU owns the inventions created by employees or by use of OHSU resources. For more information, review the OHSU Intellectual Property Policy.

How do I know if I have an invention or should fill out an invention disclosure form?

If you feel that you that have discovered something unique that may or may not have commercial potential, OHSU encourages faculty, staff and students to submit an invention disclosure form. If you are unsure if you have a discovery or if you should submit a form, contact the TTBD office. As a reminder, it is very important to submit the disclosure form well before any "public disclosure" of your idea or discovery. See the following questions for more information on public disclosure. 

What is "public disclosure" of an invention?

Making information available in any non-confidential setting or venue is public disclosure.  Any of the following examples constitute "public disclosure"

  • Information discussed in a non-confidential setting
  • Web posting
  • Oral presentation
  • Poster presentation
  • Abstract publication, available to scientific public or meeting attendees either in print or online
  • Manuscript publication, including online publications prior to the journal's hardcopy release Thesis submission to a library or outside source
  • Thesis publication
  • Funded government grant 

What happens when I publish before I disclose an invention?

If a publication, made public before the invention can be protected, describes the invention with enough detail to allow others to reproduce the invention, full patent protection of the invention is jeopardized. Companies may not license an interesting invention if full patent protection is not obtained.

Foreign patent rights are lost immediately upon any publication, including an abstract, prior to filing for a patent. To protect patent rights in the U.S., a patent application must be filed within one year from the date of publication. The protection of rights occurs upon filing of the application.


Would the poster presentation of a doctoral candidate be considered publication of an invention?

Any presentation that describes an invention is considered publication, and may constitute "public disclosure" if the venue is open to anyone outside of OHSU (regardless of whether individuals who are not OHSU employees is in the audience).