for Researchers and Faculty
Tools for UC Davis Researchers and Innovators to file for
an invention or for material transfer.
You’ve invented technology that will change the world, now you need to protect your interests. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. The ideal time to disclose an invention is before it has been published or publicly presented. UC Davis InnovationAccess can discuss any questions you might have, even before filing a Record of Invention, to help assemble a strategy for patenting and commercial partnering. Feel free to contact us at any time.
Best Practices for Inventors
Maintenance of good laboratory records is important. Experiments should be written out and explained in a bound notebook. Data may be maintained in separate folders referenced in the laboratory notebook. Pages of the notebook should be dated and signed regularly. It is best if they are also periodically witnessed, signed and dated by a knowledgeable colleague who is not likely to be named as a co-inventor.
Visit G-40, University of California Patent Program, Appendix E, Suggestions for Invention Record Keeping for more information.
Obviously discussion within a research group is permissible, but discussion with others can be interpreted as public disclosure, including departmental seminars or “enabling” detailed discussions with visitors. If you have questions, please contact UC Davis InnovationAccess/Technology Transfer Services! The best way to avoid public disclosure is to not discuss your experiments in a manner that others can readily duplicate. If you seek advice from outsiders, then a confidentiality agreement may be needed. In any discussions with representatives from companies it is always good practice to have us put a confidentiality agreement in place.
Guide to completing an ROI
You may submit your Record of Invention (ROI) form and related files in one of several ways: email, fax, campus mail, or in-person delivery.
UC Davis InnovationAccess
1850 Research Park Drive, Suite 100
Davis, CA 95618
When you want to transfer or receive tangible research material or raw datasets (but not databases, which are protected by copyright) with another researcher or company, whether non-profit or commercial, having an advance agreement is necessary. The goal is to prevent misunderstandings about who has which rights to do what to/with the material, to address liability for flaws or problems that may occur, and to make sure you can publish under academic freedom. The most common way to do this is via a material transfer agreement (MTA) or data transfer agreement (DTA).
It is critical that these are completed before the material or data is actually transferred. Unfortunately, these agreements are sometimes low priority for other institutions, so advance notice can help us meet your deadlines. To begin this process, send a completed request form to the UC Davis InnovationAccess Material Transfer Team. You can contact MTA@ucdavis.edu for assistance completing the form.
If you have any questions or if you need additional information, please contact us.
While copyright law is fairly simple to state, applying it can be complicated because the result varies depending on the particular facts of each situation, such as what you want to do, whether the material was created as part of a job – even whether it had a copyright notice when it was published.
Copyrights to works created by many UC Davis faculty – such as scholarly articles, books, artwork or music – and to works created by students for academic coursework initially belong to the author rather than The Regents of the University of California. To use those materials you need to contact the copyright owner, who is often the journal publisher.
Copyright to works created by UC Davis employees, which may include employed students, usually belong to The Regents. Some works created by UC Davis faculty may belong to The Regents under terms of a particular research agreement.
Because software may be protected by both copyright and patent, and because software is often developed by multiple authors including faculty, current and past graduate students, undergraduates, staff, visitors and research sponsors, determining who owns the copyright for software can be complex.
If you think the The Regents own the copyright, contact UC Davis InnovationAccess for information about obtaining a copyright license.
For more information see the UC Policy on Copyright Ownership.
Definitions of capitalized terms and FAQs are on the University of California copyright website.
UC Davis encourages faculty to participate in outside activities that contribute to their profession, to the community, and to UC Davis’ teaching and public service mission. Engagement with the outside community is a component of the academic enterprise that enables faculty to maintain contact with research directions and priorities in the private sector. Consulting offers benefits to the university’s teaching and public services mission, but consulting must be accomplished within the framework of university policies, including those pertaining to limitations on time spent consulting, compensation plans, intellectual property (IP) and professional liability insurance, and the use of university resources.
The university will not assert ownership to inventions conceived and/or developed by faculty during a consultancy with an outside company, if the consultancy qualifies as “Permissible Consulting.” In general, there are three requirements for Permissible Consulting:
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