Observations and experiments during research activities often lead to discoveries and inventions. An invention may comprise any commercially useful machine, software, novel compound, composition of matter or any new or useful improvement of the same. Often, multiple researchers may have contributed to the invention.
Early contact with UMIP is necessary to discuss your invention/IPand to provide guidance with respect to disclosure, commercial assessment and protection processes.
This is the written notice of IP to UMIP that begins the formal IP commercialisation process. An IP disclosure remains a confidential document and should fully describe and record your IP so that the options for commercialisation can be evaluated and pursued.
The period in which UMIP reviews (with your input) the IP disclosure, requests patent searches (and other IP searches if applicable) and analyses the market and competitive technologies to determine the IP’s commercial potential. Based on the information gathered, a decision on whether to continue the commercialisation process will be made. Decisions against continuing may be due to issues such as unpatentability of the idea/observation or limited commercial potential. If the IP shows potential, the evaluation process will guide our strategy on whether to focus on licensing to an existing company or creating a new business start-up.
The process for which protection for IP is pursued to encourage third party interest in commercialisation. IP patentable protection begins with the filing of a patent application with the Patent Office and, when appropriate, foreign patent offices. Once a patent application has been filed, it will require several years and tens of thousands of pounds to obtain issued UK and foreign patents. Other protection options include copyright, designs, database rights and trademarks.
UMIP’s Proof-of-Principle (PoP) programme can provide the funds needed to take a novel idea to a demonstrable stage – validating its commercial potential – in order to attract potential investors or licensees. UMIP assists with arranging such funding. The amount of money required for PoP varies and is typically invested over a twelve month period.
Either form a spin-out
If creation of a new business has been chosen as the optimal commercialisation vehicle, UMIP will work to assist the founders in planning, creating and seeking funding for the spin-out and project manage the early stages.
or find a Licensee
If the IP will best be commercialised by one or more existing companies, UMIP will seek potential licensees and work to identify mutual interests, goals and plans to fully commercialise the IP.
Revenues received by UMIP from licensees are distributed to IP creators and to the University/IP creators’ faculties.