Inventor Resources

Case Western Reserve University’s Office of Research and Technology Management offers resources for inventors to protect their inventions, bring intellectual property to market and more.

Protect Your Invention

When you need to send or obtain materials from another institution for your research, the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) will negotiate and execute a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) to preserve your intellectual property rights associated with your research. 

When you submit an Invention Disclosure Form, a licensing manager will meet with you to discuss your work, and your goals and objectives for your invention. If you are interested in patenting and commercializing your work, the licensing manager will evaluate the commercial potential of the invention, including the patentability of the invention and the breadth of protection that might be available. 

If your invention has sufficient commercial potential to warrant an investment, we will contract with outside patent counsel with appropriate domain expertise who will craft a patent application. The TTO performs these services, including commercial evaluation and patent filing, at no charge to the inventor. (If your invention eventually produces income, we will be reimbursed for our out-of-pocket expenses from that income.)

Market Your Invention to Industry 

The licensing manager assigned to your project will market your invention to potential licensees. We work closely with inventors in order to determine the market leaders in the particular field of interest and to identify the companies that are best equipped to fully exploit the technology. 

The TTO also has access to its own extensive collection of industry contacts. To conduct discussions with outside organizations without compromising patent rights, the licensing manager will execute a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before any confidential information is shared. Once the case manager has identified interested licensees, they will begin the process of negotiating a license that provides fair return for the invention.

Sophia: CWRU's Intellectual Property Database 

Sophia access is now available to faculty and staff. This database is a one-stop shop for tracking your inventions, agreements related to inventions and patents.

Contact Jenna Kawalec at for an orientation to gain access to the database, or view the Sophia Guidebook.

Resources to Help Start a New Venture

If your invention has substantial commercial potential, but no companies exist that can fully exploit the new discovery, we will help create a startup company. CWRU has an array of resources for startups to explore:

Translational Funding 

A wide range of translational funding opportunities can help move discoveries along the path to commercialization. Find translational funding.

11000 Cedar

11000 Cedar is a startup community offering a dynamic ecosystem where transformative ideas become disruptive solutions to save lives, drive industry innovation and redefine the boundaries of what is possible. Explore 11000 Cedar.

Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship

As the university’s hub for entrepreneurial activity, the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship provides hands-on experiences to elevate the role of entrepreneurship on campus through education, research and resources for students, faculty, alumni and staff. Learn more about the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship.