Research & Economic Development

Office of the Vice Chancellor

Patent Your Invention

Securing a patent prevents others from making, using, or selling your intellectual property without your permission. Patents can be awarded to a material, a process, a new use of an existing material, or an improvement on an existing technology, so long as it can be demonstrated to be new, useful, and not obvious to other professionals in the field.

Filing a patent is a complex legal process. The UMKC Office of Technology Commercialization along with a patent attorney will help you navigate the legal requirements to determine whether your invention is patentable.

After filing a patent application, it can take from one to three years for the patent to be issued or denied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Publish or Patent?

Publishing your research or publicly disclosing it before filing a patent application can severely limit your patentability and could completely bar you from receiving a U.S. or foreign patent.

However, seeking a patent first does not preclude publication of research results, and, in most cases, does not delay publishing. To retain the potential for foreign patents, a U.S. patent application must be filed before any description of the invention is published in an article, abstract, thesis, presentation, or other public format.

Please contact us before presenting, publishing, or disclosing your discovery to others. We will work with outside patent attorneys to accommodate publishing dates, but to achieve optimum results, a description of the discovery should be submitted at least three months in advance of first publication, to allow time for review and for drafting a patent application.