Office of
Research Services

Explore Commercial Potential

Evaluate your discovery

The UMKC Office of Technology Commercialization reviews your Invention

Disclosure Form to determine:

  • the uniqueness of your invention
  • how your invention compares to existing technologies
  • whether your invention requires a patent
  • if your invention is licensable
  • the time and investment required to bring your invention to market

Review of the Prior Art

Prior Art are technologies or public disseminations of knowledge that may make it difficult to claim a property right on an invention or part of an invention.  The inventor’s own works and presentations may be prior art and the US offers a one-year grace period on inventor prior art, but may create a time bar for patenting.    OTC staff may provide landscape searching and provide education in prior art searching.  In certain cases, the university may engage outside firms to search art and provide analysis.  This information is shared back with the researcher inventor to discuss likelihood of prevailing if a patent application were to be filed.  The USPT provides more guidance and strategies on prior art here:

Prior Art Search

Patent and Trademark Resource Centers

Departments can request a presentation by OTC on prior art searching by contacting the OTC staff.

Why are inventions evaluated?

UMKC has limited funds to cover the expensive process of patenting, so our staff must make informed decisions about which inventions have the most commercial potential.

While there does not have to be a massive market awaiting the product, there does have to be some industrial or entrepreneurial interest in obtaining rights to develop a product, funding further research and development in hopes of realizing your invention's value, or starting a company to produce it.

How long is the evaluation process?

The disclosure evaluation process may take anywhere from a few weeks to six months, and possibly longer, depending on the complexity of the invention and the target industry. After filing a patent application, it can take from two to three years for the patent to be issued or denied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It
may take five years or longer for commercial sales to begin, depending on how much work needs to be done to develop and market a product based on the invention.

University technology transfer offices find that it takes an average of eight years after an invention is disclosed to begin receiving significant royalties on sales.