Triage for Inadvertent Invention Disclosure

One stick figure runs away from another, carrying a thought bubble with a lightbulb inside. Symbolic of idea theft.
Academic leaders are responsible for obtaining value from innovations developed at a university. Importantly, innovation value can vanish when there is an inadvertent disclosure of an invention. A hallmark requirement for patent protection is an invention’s novelty. Many countries have absolute novelty requirements. What happens if a discovery is published or otherwise disclosed before a patent application is filed, and the so-called cat is out of the bag? What value can the university salvage?

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