What is a patent and what is the consequence of patenting at the University?

A patent is a property right that protects an invention. A patent allows its owner to prevent others from commercially exploiting the patented invention. Patenting does not preclude publishing, on the contrary, it requires full disclosure of what it is that others may not do for the life of the patent, in the absence of a license to (or ownership of) the patent. Three types of patents may be obtained: utility, design, and plant.

Patents owned by the University are responsibly licensed in a way that protects the University's goals of basic research, education, and public service, while providing an incentive to the private sector to sell goods and services for public consumption.

Prestige, revenue, products and services result from patent licenses but an equally important consequence is the ongoing corporate sponsored research that it engenders (to fund improvements to existing inventions) and other opportunities for collaborative research. Relationships with companies, whether intellectual property-based on not, are mutually beneficial and a desirable outcome of OTL's efforts.