You’ve made a discovery you think has commercial potential – what next?  

If you have invented a technology or made a discovery that might have the potential to be turned into a new product or service, the first and most important step is to speak to your faculty’s Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation (IPC) team before making any information available publicly – including, for example, through journal articles, abstracts, talks, posters, tweets, blogs, or discussions with external parties without appropriate confidentiality agreements in place.  

This is because putting any information into the public domain can affect our ability to protect the intellectual property. Protecting intellectual property assets is often an essential step to enable future commercial success. 

You will be asked to complete an Invention Disclosure Form as part of the process – you can do this either before or after your first conversation with your IPC team. On this you will describe:  

  • What the technology is 
  • How it works 
  • Who created it 
  • Who funded it
  • What stage of development it is at 
  • How it compares to existing technologies 
  • Its potential commercial value 

Specialist staff in Imperial Enterprise, working where needed with patent attorneys, will assess whether your invention meets the criteria for patenting or other forms of IP protection. They will then work with you to evaluate the commercial potential of your technology, and help to decide the best way to protect the IP in readiness for potential commercialisation through licensing or a spinout company.  

Intellectual Property at Imperial College London: Info for staff

Discover how Imperial Enterprise supports staff at College to protect their intellectual property, and the steps you as inventors need to take.