Technology Transfer Process

We’ve outlined what you can expect during the processes of disclosing, protecting and commercializing your intellectual property. Individual processes vary depending on the evaluation outcomes.

Print versions: Detailed | Simplified

Getting Started

Start the protection process by disclosing your intellectual property to Utah State University. After disclosure, the Technology Transfer Services team will research related third party property and your invention’s market potential to help inform how to best protect it. With a plan ready, the team will meet with you to review your invention and next steps.

light bulb icon  Discovery/Invention

The inventor identifies their invention or discovery.

icon  Disclosure

The inventor discloses their invention to Technology Transfer Services.

check mark  Evaluation

Technology Transfer Services meets with the inventor, assesses marketability and patentability, determines a commercialization process and communicates with the inventor. Evaluation takes about 12 weeks.

Evaluation can result in one of three decisions:

x icon  Not Proceeding

The invention or discovery lacks sufficient commercial potential for USU to pursue.

arrow icon  Further Development

While it shows promise, the invention or discovery is not ready for commercialization or patenting. The inventor continues to work with Technology Transfer Services.

arrow icon  Proceeding

If the decision is to proceed, the Office of General Counsel pursues intellectual property protection and/or Technology Transfer Services pursues commercialization.


page icon  Application Preparation

The Office of General Counsel prepares the application which takes 1-3 months, sometimes less.

page icon  Provisional Application Filing

The Office of General Counsel prepares the provisional application, a placeholder patent application generally filed after publication/presentation.

page icon  Non-Provisional Application Filing

Within one year of the provisional application filing, the Office of General Counsel submits the non-provisional application, which is reviewed by a patent examiner.

scale icon  Patent Prosecution

Patent prosecution is the time between filing and issuance or abandonment. There is interaction between the USU Office of General Counsel, the patent examiner and the inventor. This process takes about 2-4 years. Patent prosecution can result in issuance or abandonment. If issued and if the technology continues to show promise or is licensed or sold, the patent is maintained until it expires 20 years after filing.

After evaluation, protecting your intellectual property could involve several steps. The protection strategy might include filing a patent application in the United States or internationally, registering trademarks or copyrights, or formulating a plan to keep trade secrets from entering the public domain.

Unlike many universities, Utah State’s Technology Transfer Services staff have access to two in-house intellectual property attorneys and a paralegal. Protecting new intellectual property within USU, without outside law firms and directly with Utah State creators streamlines the protection process. The Technology Transfer Services office protects both USU’s and inventors’ interests with the most appropriate agreements for your property.

Intellectual property can be patented and/or commercialized.


people icon  Collaboration

Technology Transfer Services identifies opportunities for collaboration through commercial agreements.

dollar icon  Financing

Technology Transfer Services identifies funding opportunities for the invention or discovery.

gear icon  Commercialization

Technology Transfer Services works to license the technology to an existing entity or commercialize it within USU, an incubator space like Innovation Campus or a spin-out company.

Intellectual property can be patented and/or commercialized. In time, commercialization can lead to revenue generation and distribution.