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Invention and Patent Policy


Santa Clara University is committed to supporting the development of new technologies. Faculty Handbook section 3.7.5 describes the University policy on patents including the distribution of royalties. The purpose of this policy is to clearly establish title of inventions and patents.


The patent policy of the University applies to all potentially patentable discoveries or inventions conceived or first reduced to practice by anyone using University funds, material, or facilities.



The Associate Provost for Research and Faculty Affairs is responsible for enforcement of the policy. Examples of noncompliance with this policy include, but are not limited to, failure to submit a disclosure form, intentionally filing an incomplete, erroneous, or misleading disclosure form, or failing to provide any additional information requested by the Associate Provost for Research and Faculty Affairs. Failure to comply with this policy will result in the notification of the sponsor as appropriate. In addition, noncompliance may result in disciplinary action consistent with and subject to sections of the Staff Policy Manual and the Faculty Handbook that are applicable to the employment of the faculty or staff member. In particular, noncompliance is subject to the Policy on Misconduct in Research (Faculty Handbook, Appendix H).

Invention means any new or significantly improved technology, material, design, device, discovery, composition, trade secret, process, method and/or technique that is conceived and reduced to practice.

Research means a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to knowledge. The term encompasses basic and applied research and product development.

Sponsored Project is defined in the Faculty Handbook as any externally funded activity which is subject to an agreement that is binding on the University and that includes any of the following conditions:

  1. it commits the University to a specific plan of research or scholarly inquiry;
    it makes a specific commitment regarding the level of personnel effort, items of output, or achievement of specific performance targets;
  2. it requires both adherence to a line item budget and either a detailed fiscal report or an external audit of the project;
  3. it requires that any unexpended funds be returned to the sponsor at the end of the project period; or 
  4. it provides for the disposition of either tangible property (e.g., equipment, records, or technical reports) or intangible property (e.g., patents or copyrights) that may result from the activity.

Invention Disclosure Process

1. Review the University patent policy. 

2. Complete an .

3. Submit the form to the Associate Provost for Research Initiatives 

The Associate Provost will initiate the patent review process working with the Stanford University Office of Technology Licensing.  If the discovery or invention is determined to meet the criteria for pursuing a patent, the Associate Provost will work with the inventor and SU-OTL to pursue a patent.  Title, fees and royalties will be handled as described in the University patent policy.