Petri dish in a lab

Innovation in Bloomington

April 2015

Tech Manager Tips

In each edition of Innovation in Bloomington, we ask IURTC technology managers for comments and advice to IU researchers and inventors about the innovation and commercialization process. Our premier issue features Bill Brizzard, IURTC's director of technology commercialization:

Bill Brizzard

Q: What are some of the most common misconceptions that IU researchers have about the patenting and commercialization process?

A: "The first thing I would recommend is to contact IURTC early - before you present at a conference or submit your article for publication. If you do not, you could lose the ability to protect your intellectual property. With the passage of the America Invents Act, the U.S. has joined the rest of the world when it comes to first to file. What does that mean? Well, the U.S. patent system used to be 'first to invent.' Now, like the rest of the world, the U.S. patent system is also 'first to file.' So patent protection is something you want to take care of before you disclose your idea publicly."

"The second thing we encounter a lot is the belief that you cannot publish after filing a patent application. It is a common misconception - researchers often tell us they've been told you cannot publish after filing for a patent and it's just not true. You can publish after a patent filing."

Q: What issues do you often encounter from inventors considering entering the commercialization process for the first time?

A: "Something we wrestle with quite a bit, frankly, is the researchers' time. Their schedules are so demanding - with just about every moment of their day dedicated to teaching, research, service projects, meetings, etc. - that it is tough to squeeze anything else in...

"We need to do things that encourage entrepreneurship and commercialization at IUB and IURTC is working with the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology to streamline our processes to make it easier for faculty to work with us."