Intellectual Property: Patents

April 1998
Chapter 1

Section: 1:050

Intellectual Property: Patents

Patent regulations apply to any University employee or student, whether paid or unpaid, who makes any invention within the general scope of duties as an employee of the University or as a student utilizing the University.

Patent Regulations

Patent regulations, in their entirety, are contained in the Collected Rules and Regulation of the University of Missouri, Section 100.020 . The regulations stipulate that they form part of the employment contract with an employee and therefore are a condition of employment; and further, that they apply to all students utilizing University facilities.


University employees and students are required and shall upon request assign to the Curators of the University of Missouri all domestic and foreign rights to any invention made by the employee within the general scope of duties as an employee of the University or as a student utilizing University facilities.

Services Offered by University

University Patents and Licensing (882-2821), 509 Lewis Hall, provides the following services:

  • Works with faculty members to identify innovative technologies.
  • Coordinates legal services in procuring patent protection for selected University invention.
  • Notifies industry of available technologies.
  • Identifies and contacts target companies for selected technologies.
  • Solicits bids from interested companies.
  • Fulfills sponsored research reporting requirements for reported inventions.

Protecting Rights of Invention

Premature disclosure could result in the loss of patent rights. In order to protect rights of invention:

No Prior Publication

Publication should not be made before filing a U.S. patent application. This includes a description of the invention in any of the following:

  • Article in a professional journal.
  • Published abstract.
  • Shelving a thesis or dissertation.
  • Paper at a professional or other meeting.
  • Newspaper articles.
  • Release of data to a company without a confidentiality agreement.
  • Radio or television interviews.

Report the Concept

The concept should be reported at an early date, even though further refinements may be anticipated. If necessary, additional information can be added as a supplement at a later date.

Protect the Interests of Others

Care must be taken to protect the interests of others in any invention. Be aware of the rights of agencies or corporations which sponsor research in the form of grants and contracts, in service contracts, or in consulting agreements with outside organizations.

NOTE: Only the President of the University has the power to waive rights in an invention.

Procedure for Filing a Disclosure

The University’s established procedure for filing a disclosure minimizes delays in publication and yet protects the inventor’s and the University’s claims:

  1. All inventions should be carefully documented in a laboratory notebook, including time of conception, purpose, and methodology. This should be dated and signed by the inventor and at least one other individual who is familiar with the topic, but not a co-inventor.
  2. Complete and submit a Disclosure of Invention form (UM 16B or 16C) to the Office of University Patents and Licensing, 509 Lewis Hall. This form is available from the Office of Sponsored Program Administration (882-7560), 310 Jesse Hall, or Office of University Patents and Licensing (882-2821).
  3. University Patents and Licensing staff, in conjunction with selected faculty, the Patent Committee, and professional search services, will review the invention for its potential to be patented and commercialized.
  4. Options – Because of the great expense associated with the patent and technology transfer processes, the University is able to aggressively pursue a limited number of inventions. Thus, after the University Patents and Licensing review, the inventor will be informed of one following:
    • University will aggressively pursue patent and commercialization.
    • University will attempt to market invention through a state innovation center.
    • University will not be able to aggressively market the patent; but, if the inventor desires, the University will attempt to market the invention through its brochures and newsletters.
    • Faculty member is given the option to request a waiver of rights from the University.
  5. University Patents and Licensing will act as a liaison with the legal firm selected to file patent application.

Costs and Royalties

The University pays all costs when it elects to prosecute a patent application on a disclosed invention. The inventor receives 33-1/3 percent of gross royalty as personal income. After expenses are offset, the campus receives one-third of the net revenue; the inventor’s academic department receives one-third; and the University’s share is one-third. All net royalty income to the University, campus and department is reinvested in the research and patent program.

Additional Information

Further information can be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Program Administration (882-7560), 310 Jesse Hall, or from University Patents and Licensing (882-2821), 509 Lewis Hall.