From Campus to the World

It’s never too early to come talk to us about your idea.
Let’s walk through the process of making your invention available to the world:

Step one: Submit

Submit an Invention Disclosure Report (IDR), which only takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

If you have any questions about this process, contact Brian Frushour, Intellectual Property Associate: | 608.960.9871.

Step two: The disclosure meeting

Our team will meet with you for an informal, confidential discussion about the details and possible applications of your discovery or invention.


  • Public disclosure immediately prevents you from obtaining most foreign patent rights and may impact your ability to obtain U.S. patent rights.
  • Patents filed prior to public disclosure have a much stronger position.
What constitutes a public disclosure?
    Any non-confidential disclosure, which includes many routine academic activities:

* Published papers
* Catalogued theses

* Presentations
* Conference abstracts

* Open thesis defenses
* Funded grant applications

* Seminars
* Web posts

* Campus talks

* Non-confidential collaborations

* Grand rounds
* Posters

Step three: The decision committee

WARF's internal decision committee will assess your invention based on many factors, including:
  • Patentability
  • Market dynamics
  • Licensing potential
  • Public benefit
  • Whether WARF can add value
We evaluate discoveries on a monthly basis and will notify you whether or not we decide to move forward with your invention. We strive to make decisions quickly so that patenting doesn't interfere with publication.

Patents are expensive, costing $20,000 to $40,000. WARF covers this cost for the technologies we accept, as well as all other costs and legal fees.

Step four: The equity review

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education will perform an equity review to identify funding sources that may have contractual intellectual property obligations.

Learn more about the university's intellectual property policies here.

Step five: The memorandum agreement

If your invention is accepted, the inventor(s) and WARF enter into a memorandum agreement that defines the relationship between you and WARF. You agree to assign ownership of the invention to WARF and to work in partnership with WARF during the patenting and licensing process. 

In return, WARF agrees to share royalty income with you.

Step six: Patenting your invention

Our intellectual property experts, most of whom are registered patent agents, will work with you and one of our our seasoned patent attorneys to draft a patent application. We move fast and often apply for a patent within several weeks. But even with our expertise and devotion to your invention, the interactions with the patent office typically take years.

The best part

WARF licenses to companies and entrepreneurs with the resources to bring your invention to the world. We’re here to help your hard work and innovative research make a difference.