Complete an Invention Disclosure Form. That way, Monash Innovation can formally record and review your invention. If you are in doubt, feel free to reach out to a member of the team.
Patent searches can become very detailed and often involve specialised Patent Attorneys. However anyone can do basic searches using free databases such as espacenet or Google patent. If you want to learn more about using these search tools, you can also find good tutorials on the KCA website to walk you through the basics of doing a patent search.
For a patent to be granted, your invention must be new, inventive and useful (as determined by the patent office). You can search for existing patents to make sure no one else has secured an undifferentiated patent. This is something Monash Innovation will help with when you lodge an Invention Disclosure form.
Preparing insight about the potential use of your invention will greatly benefit the process of assessing the invention by the Monash Innovation team and the Invention Disclosure form invites you to include this information. You should provide:
- Which markets would benefit from your invention (e.g. potential users, and potential licensees/partners)
- Who would be the major competitors in this market
- Provide any similar inventions or recent partnerships related to the invention
- A list of potential industry partners in this space, particularly those who you have a relationship with
- A list any other inventors, contributors, partners or funders involved in this invention
The Invention Disclosure form gives Monash Innovation the information it needs to assess your invention, the funding that led to it, and other aspects that may affect the commercialisation. It is also a formal record of the invention, which could be used in defending the patent.
Download and complete the Disclosure form (Fill in online soon) as completely as possible and get all creators to sign it before returning to Monash Innovation. Also, attach any relevant manuscripts or papers/ presentations that will help describe the invention as completely as possible.
The Invention Disclosure form allows Monash innovation to start working on assessing your invention, but is also a formal record of the invention and the inventors, which can be important in the future of patent prosecution.
Inventorship has a legal basis in patent law, which requires everyone who contributed inventively to the creation of the invention to be named on the patent. If you are unsure, you can reach out to Monash Innovation to get advice on who should be listed as an inventor.
Creators are those who have made inventive contribution to an idea, or in the case of Copyright, the person who physically created it. Deciding who is and isn't a creator can be tricky, and you should consult with the Monash Innovation team if in doubt.
Contributors are those who make significant contribution, but are not Creators. This could be someone carrying out lab work under direct supervision and direction, or someone who helped with a project but did not come up with the ideas. Their contributions can be valuable and therefore if the Creators wish they can be included in the Creators revenue share.
Anyone who creates a work subject to copyright (such as software) is the Creator of that work. In the case of software the Creator is the person who wrote the lines of code (even if under instruction).
Yes, the Monash Innovation team need to assess every funding agreement that led to the creation of the invention, as the rights may be affected. Please disclose all funding that may be relevant, and be ready to provide the terms and conditions of the agreements if asked.
Please include all information of creators, inventors and contributors of an invention, as well as their affiliations. It may be that your invention is jointly owned. The Monash Innovation team are used to dealing with this and will advise.
NDA's or Non-Disclosure Agreements (also called Confidential Disclosure Agreements) are legal agreements that protect the confidentiality of discussions between two parties. Information shared under an NDA should not be shared outside of the parties who have signed it and must be handled carefully. If in doubt, please ask a member of your department's Business Development (BD) team or your Monash Innovation contact about whether you need an NDA.