Glossary

Consulting Agreement: Arrangements outside of normal university business between faculty and companies designed to facilitate product development. Different colleges have different policies for faculty disclosure of consulting agreements.

Copyright: Ability to exclude others for a limited period of time from using original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression which can be perceiver, reproduced, or otherwise communicated either directly or with the aid of a machine or device (typically used for texts, software, visual and audio materials).

Intellectual Property: A term often used to refer generically to property rights created through intellectual and/or discovery efforts of a creator that are protectable under patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, trade dress or other law.

Invention: A new and useful process, device, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or new or useful improvement upon one of these.

Invention Disclosure: Written notification to the TCO that an invention has been made. This form is an important step to protecting the invention.

License: legal permission from an IP owner to practice an invention. License agreements include miscellaneous financial and diligence terms.

Material Transfer Agreements and Evaluation Agreements: Agreements that authorize companies to use or evaluate chemical compounds, prototypes, biological materials and software programs within specific limits.

Non-Disclosure Agreements: Provide protection against misappropriation of non-public information (e.g., inventions, research data, computer software, etc.) Usually used prior to disclosing information to a company considering funding research and/or licensing technology.

Option Agreement: An agreement granting a company the exclusive right to evaluate a technology for a short period of time prior to executing a license agreement. in most cases, the option agreement provides for the company to reimburse GVSU's patent expenses. Options may also include research funding and option fees.

Patent Application: Document submitted to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (or Foreign Patent Office) requesting that a patent be issued. Issuance usually takes two years or longer.

Sponsored Research Agreements: most university technologies are early stage and often additional research and evaluation is required to move the technology toward commercialization.

Page last modified March 13, 2014