Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer

At Duquesne University, innovative thinking and entrepreneurship spirit are encouraged and nurtured. We are dedicated to help Duquesne faculty, staff, and students seeking to make a difference in society by pursuing their innovations and creations. The Office of Research and Innovation is also here to assist with bringing new technologies developed at Duquesne University to society by negotiating commercial licensing agreements, helping create new ventures, fostering social entrepreneurship, and facilitating investments in promising discoveries and technologies.

By investing in innovators and creators, we aim to extend the University's impact on the future of academic research and education by fostering academic collaborations and relationships with industry and community partners. These collaborations and relationships have led to and can further generate many beneficial real-world technologies including treatments for cancer and infectious diseases, vaccines, cyber security, forensic science, and environmental applications.

The development of research innovation, creative works, and other forms of intellectual property into successful products or commercial uses can be achieved through intellectual property protection and technology transfer.
If you wish to discuss your innovations or creations and explore intellectual property and technology transfer opportunities, please email the Office of Research and Innovation.

If you have an invention, please fill out this Invention Disclosure Form and return to the Associate Provost for Regulatory Affairs and Applied Innovation.

Intellectual Property

There are 4 types of intellectual property:

Patents protect inventive concepts and ideas, designs, and plants
A technology to be patentable must be novel, useful and non-obvious.
Some examples of patentable subject matter include devices, apparatus, systems, methods, processes, compounds, formulations, therapies, designs, and some plants.

Copyrights protect original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression
Some examples of copyrightable materials include software, media, artistic or written works, instructional materials, videos, survey, training modules, and clinical protocols.

Trademarks protect names or symbols identifying products or services. To be trademarkable, a mark should be distinctive and used in commerce. Once legally obtained, trademarks are protected by law for as long as they are in use
Some examples of trademarks include company logos, brand names, color, packaging, and slogans.

Trade Secrets protect information that is not known by others. Protection of trade secrets lasts as long as the information remains secret
Some examples of trade secrets include secret recipes, formulas, algorithms, and industrial processes.

If you have any questions about the patentability of your research or about copyrights, trademarks, or trade secret issues, please contact the Office of Research and Innovation.

Technology Transfer

Innovation can transform the world.

Our goal is to help bring Duquesne research and technology to society and we will work with innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors toward developing partnerships and transferring knowledge from lab to market.

Generally, innovation developed at the University may fall into two categories: a well-developed technology close to being useable by an established industry or a very new technology outside of what is commonly found in the marketplace. In the case of the former, this type of technology may thrive when developed further by existing companies. The pursuit of licensing options with those established companies would be advantageous in this case. In the case of the latter, the risk and demands related to developing the technology may be too much for an established company, and an exclusive license to a new start-up company would be a strategic alternative.

We will start marketing the University innovation once the patent application has been filed with the Patent and Trademark Office, as this will allow a proper evaluation of the commercial potential of the associated intellectual property. At this stage, we can provide interested companies with publications or marketing packages describing the technology. We will also regularly invite each innovator or creator to review the technology and describe any developments that may affect the technology value and marketability. In cases where the technology is especially cutting-edge or in its early developmental phase, an extended timetable will be considered to fully evaluate the commercial potential and value of the invention.

If you wish to explore technology transfer opportunities, please contact the Office of Research and Innovation.