Acting on an Invention
Mass General Brigham is committed to making breakthroughs widespread across the continuum of care. The first step in innovation is the inventive insight which may occur anywhere and be made by any Mass General Brigham employee. Disclosing an invention is the first formal action in the commercialization process. The more thorough the initial disclosure the more rapidly the commercialization can proceed. The path forward from an invention is well established. It can be long, complex, and iterative.
Find Your Business Development & Licensing Manager
Use Insight’s online Chief Code Database (VPN login required)
Access this site’s online database for the Innovation team
Email Mass General Brigham Innovation for questions and support
Submit an Invention Disclosure
The Innovation Invention Disclosure Form is the starting point to request evaluation of an invention or discovery.
Effective September 24, 2021, invention disclosures will be accepted ONLY via an enhanced interactive form in the Insight application. Innovation will no longer accept versions of the PDF Form after September 24th. This new electronic process will improve data integrity and streamline the submission.
You should protect your invention by documenting your ideas in writing, using an invention disclosure form. In order to preserve worldwide patent rights for your idea, a patent application must be filed with the patent office prior to sharing your ideas in a public forum, publication, internet abstract, poster, or any forum that includes external people.
Click here to read more about the features of the new Invention Disclosure Form (IDF) via Insight.
A Few Notes about Confidentiality
Public disclosure of an invention may limit, or even forfeit, the right to obtain a patent. A public disclosure is any communication of the invention to individuals who are not Mass General Brigham employees or not covered by a confidentiality agreement or policies. Some common examples include journal or book publications, published meeting abstracts, interviews, posters and oral presentations, dissertations and theses, and online publications including laboratory webpages or social media. Common situations which may not be public disclosures include internal presentations not open to the public.
Grant proposals are often confidential and may not initially be a public disclosure until the granting organization publishes elements of the proposal such as the abstract or progress report publications. Discussions with external parties under a confidentiality agreement are also protected and not considered public disclosures. It can sometimes be difficult to know what a public disclosure is. Innovation can help address questions. Notifying the assigned Business Development & Licensing Manager in advance of any potential public disclosure is recommended to assure protection.
Even if an IDF has been submitted, the invention needs to be confidential until a patent application is filed. This is often initially via a “provisional filing”, a temporary 12-month protection that becomes public information if it is converted into a “nonprovisional” (i.e. full) patent. Important areas of inventions are often pursued competitively by multiple groups. Sometimes, in a highly competitive field, a difference of even a day in filing can determine who is ultimately awarded the patent.
Please contact your Business Development & Licensing Manager for additional information.
Review The Mass General Brigham IP Policy
The Mass General Brigham Intellectual Property Policy details how intellectual property created at Mass General Brigham institutions is owned and managed, and how net income derived from this activity is distributed within the institution and to inventors.
Submit Research and Material Transfer Agreements
Innovation reviews, negotiates, and approves of a wide range of research agreements. Agreements provide the terms and conditions that enable investigators to receive funding, research tools, and information from industry and other sources. In addition, the agreements articulate what investigators and the institution must promise the provider in the form of reports, intellectual property rights, and deliverables. Effective December 2017, all requests for Material Transfer Agreements (MTA), Sponsored Research Agreements (SRA), and Confidential Disclosure Agreements (CDA) will be handled exclusively through Insight 4.0. Requests for these research support agreements must be submitted through Insight 4.0.
Access Advice on Start-Up Opportunities
On occasion, the optimal strategy to commercialize a technology may be to create a new company to pursue the opportunity. Technologies that are a paradigm shift and platform, as opposed to product specific, are often better suited to be developed in a new venture. Innovation professionals in the Research and Business Development & Licensing group and in the Mass General Brigham Innovation Fund have extensive expertise to support these transactions. Contact your Business Development & Licensing Manager regarding these opportunities.