What to do with the Results of a Good Idea
Have you ever developed an idea or made a discovery that you felt sure would benefit the entire human race -- or least a few folks -- and would make a few bucks too? Well, of course. But then you shelved it because it would take too much time and be too much trouble to protect and market. Right?
Not necessarily. Getting technology through the patent process and into the market place, while not a cinch, is not too difficult or expensive because you don't have to do it by yourself. Virginia Tech's Office of Sponsored Programs and Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc. (VTIP) have developed a process for the Virginia Tech faculty, staff and students which simplifies the role of the creator of the intellectual property, and has the potential to benefit you and the university.
Here's the Short Version of How it Works:
You conduct research which results in an invention. In most instances, the invention is owned by the university because you used university resources; however, you share in the results of the intellectual property. The Intellectual Properties Committee recognizes the value of the property and wants it to be protected and, if possible, marketed. You assign it to the university, and the university assigns it to VTIP. VTIP markets the property; the property makes money. VTIP recovers documented expenses and administrative overhead. You get 50 percent of the net, your department gets 10 percent, and VTIP gets 40 percent. The 40 percent covers protecting and marketing projects that aren't generating money yet -- it's the money you didn't have to spend up front. Soon, when more intellectual properties are earning more money, VTIP will be providing funds to support university research.
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