Commercialising Intellectual Property
Intellectual property (IP) is the product of thought, creativity and intellectual effort. In the course of your work, regardless of the area you work in, you may generate IP. It can be in the form of a technical discovery, a method, a design, a drawing, an experimental outcome, a piece of equipment, a piece of prose or music.
You can find out more about the types of Intellectual Property at the Patent Office website.
Revenue sharing - Under law, as your employer, Cardiff University owns the IP you create through your work. The University has a revenue sharing scheme so that you, as an inventor, and your School/Department can benefit from the income generated by the commercialisation of IP.
Impact - Commercialising IP can have a very positive impact on the reputation of the inventor and the School/Department. Often, this will lead to further collaborations and funding opportunities. It is now a key metric in the research Excellence Framework. Intellectual property will also provide benefit to the society and economy, influencing quality of life, health and the environment.
Support – As part of protecting intellectual property, Cardiff University will fund the associated filing and legal costs. The university will also project manage the commercialisation and development of the IP.
Your guide to commercialisation
Stop! Be aware of publically disclosing your idea before you have protected your IP! Publishing it in print, online, blog, social media, or in a thesis, or by discussing it in a public meeting - even a University seminar - may leave you unable to protect your IP.
If you think you have generated Intellectual Property…
You should contact the Technology Transfer Group. We can put you in touch with Technology Transfer Officers who have expertise in your area. These Officers will give you advice on disclosing your idea, protection and commercialisation.
Disclosure, Assessment, Evaluation and Protection
You will be asked to complete a Technology Disclosure Form. The details you give in this confidential document will allow us to evaluate the project.
As part of the evaluation process, we will establish a commercial case to support the project. We will assess the patentability criteria including novelty and inventiveness. We do this by checking for any evidence your invention is already known (prior art), consulting with patent agents and professional technology transfer organisations, working with legal advisors and market researchers, and identifying potential industrial partners.
After we evaluate your project, we will advise you on the best way to protect and develop the IP, and begin filing procedures if appropriate. We can arrange for IP protection in a number of countries, depending on your idea.
We ensure that you are an integral part of the commercialisation process, involving you at each step along the way.
Ways to commercialise your idea
As part of your evaluation, we will advise a route to market. This is typically through the formation of a spin-out company, or by licensing the technology to an industrial partner.
Spin-Out Formation – Cardiff University works with the Fusion/IP Group to develop a business plan and secure early stage funding. Together, we can then set up and advise the company, strategy, and management.
Licensing – Cardiff University has a strong track record in licensing technologies. Licensing brings enormous benefits to a range of companies, the economy and society. It can also lead to the establishment of new joint ventures.