Protecting Your Idea
Disclose, Ensure, & Position

Talk to us early and often about your ideas.

The State of California wants to ensure that any innovations its employees create are used, if possible, for the public benefit. As a result, you, as a UCSF inventor, have an obligation to report any inventions that arise as a result of your work using UCSF facilities, funds or equipment, please visit University of California Patent Policy & University Patent Acknowledgment for more information. You also stand to benefit from this, whether you choose to let a partner commercialize your invention or choose to start a new company around your technology.

If you have an invention or technology that you think is new, exciting and has potential as a commercial product or application, contact us to disclose it to our office. We can guide you on when and how to disclose, to ensure your innovations will be protected and thus positioned to have a social impact.

Examples of activities that can invalidate your ability to patent your innovation include:

Public Disclosure

A public disclosure occurs when you present or discuss your invention to anyone outside UCSF in enough detail that the audience can understand and replicate your idea or invention. Public disclosures often happen in poster sessions, public talks or presentations, social conversations, Facebook postings, website postings, when an NIH grant proposal is awarded, and of course, in the publication of a manuscript or abstract.

Public Use

Public use constitutes making your invention accessible to the public in any way that does not represent experimental use. An example of public use is the use of a pharmaceutical therapy or medical device to treat a patient in a clinical setting that is not tied to a research study.

Offer for Sale

An offer for sale happens when the invention is offered to a buyer in exchange for compensation or the promise of compensation.

If you will be discussing your invention with an outside party, such as a company or individual, and want to prevent that discussion from becoming a public disclosure, contact us to put in place a confidential disclosure agreement (CDA).