FAQs About Disclosures

What if I conceived of my invention on my own time?

The MUSC IP policy gives the university rights to anything that you create within your hired field of expertise. It is blind to the time use to work on the innovation. Compliance with the policy is a condition of employment and student status. View the policies.

What are the benefits of working with the The Zucker Institute?

There are several. Besides compliance with the IP policy, the Zucker Institute helps translate your innovation into public use. Most people have no experience navigating the Patent Office or negotiating a term sheet, and this is our forte. Additionally, the university pays for the patent costs, which run several thousands of dollars.

What happens next?

Shortly after submission, you will receive a formal acknowledgement email providing a case number and alerting you as to whether the Zucker Institute needs additional information. After that, our office will begin to evaluate the patent and/or commercial potential of the innovation. Someone from the office will likely contact you to discuss the idea in more detail to ensure that they have a good understanding of what the innovation entails and its state of development. You will be notified of the go/no go/next step decision within a few weeks.

Why does the Zucker Institute need my home address and citizenship?

We have to provide your home address and citizenship to the USPTO. We also use your home address to mail royalty checks to you.

Why is the contract/grant information important to the Zucker Institute ?

Under federal law, MUSC is required to report to the Government inventions created under sponsored research. If MUSC decides not to take title to such an invention (that is, decides not to keep it), then the Government has rights to it. Non-Government sponsors may also have intellectual property clauses and obligations attached to such sponsorship with which the Zucker Institute must comply.

How detailed should the description of the invention be?

As detailed as possible. All information provided to the Zucker Institute will be kept confidential. Without adequate information, the Zucker Institute cannot perform a complete evaluation of the invention’s patent ability and licensing potential.

Why are the dates of disclosure important?

In the U.S., an inventor has one year from the date of public disclosure in which to file a patent application. Once that year has passed, the invention cannot be patented.

What is considered a public disclosure?

Anything that described the basic idea to non-MUSC people. A published manuscript, conference presentation or poster, webpage, grand rounds, and a dissertation indexed at the library may all constitute a public disclosure. Funded government grants may also count as well.

FAQs About MUSC Policies

Who owns my invention?

Title to all potentially patentable inventions conceived or first reduced to practice in whole or in part by members of the faculty or staff (including student employees) of MUSC in the course of their responsibilities or with more than incidental use of resources, belongs to MUSC. However, revenue generated from the innovation is shared with the creators as outlined in the IP policy.

What does assignment of rights mean?

It means that you are transferring your rights to another party or entity. Assignment of rights to the university is a condition of your employment, student status, or resource utilization. The assignment form is used to formally document it. The assignment does not supersede the revenue sharing policy specified in the IP policy.

Does the IP policy cover manuscripts?

No, rights to traditional scholarly works stay with the author. Please be aware that those rights may have been transferred to the publisher of your manuscript or book chapter.