For Inventors

What can we do for you?


Protect Your Invention

When you need to send or obtain materials from another institution for your research, we will negotiate and execute a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) which will preserve your intellectual property rights associated with your research. (For MTAs, please contact Tyler Gray). 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 invention 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. In order 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 he/she will begin the process of negotiating a license that provides fair return for the invention.


Help Start a New Venture

If your invention has substantial commercial potential, but no companies currently exist which can fully exploit the new discovery, we will help create a start-up company. The TTO has a seed fund, Case Technology Ventures (CTV), which can make investments in start-up endeavors to help them advance their idea to the next stage, such as writing a business plan, hiring a CEO, renting lab space or facilities, or building prototypes.


Questions About Patent Legislation (America Invents Act) and What It Means For You?

The publication America Invents Act (AIA): What CWRU Inventors Need to Know - Information on changes to the U.S. patent system, effective March 16, 2013 provides an overview of common questions and implications of the new law and its provisions.


Sophia: CWRU's Intellectual Property Database


Sophia access is now available to Faculty and Staff. A one-stop shop for tracking your:

  • Inventions
  • Agreements related to inventions
  • Patents

Contact Faculty Concierge, Johnny Sams at or (216) 368-0607 for activation of your access. 30-minute orientations are also available.

For those whose access has been activated, a link to our Sophia Guidebook is here.

For your convenience, you can login to Sophia here.