Submit Your Invention

Everyone has a chance to benefit when you submit your inventions to GW’s Technology Commercialization Office (TCO). You, your department, the university, and society.


Submit Your Invention on the GW Inventor Portal


Why should I submit my idea or invention to TCO?

In short, it’s your obligation—but it also provides many benefits. 

Faculty and staff members are required to submit inventions to GW, as are students who receive support for their studies from the government or use significant GW resources. There are other reasons to submit your inventions, too. 

Commercialization success can produce:

  • Income for inventors and for their departments and schools
  • Impact on society by helping results of research solve problems of customers, patients and society at large
  • Real-world training and connections for student inventors that improves career opportunities

Experienced TCO staff perform the following services on behalf of GW inventors who submit their inventions:

  • Evaluate new ideas for patenting and marketing potential
  • Manage the legal process of protecting intellectual property
  • Pay for legal costs
  • Negotiate with third parties (e.g., co-inventors' institutions)
  • Market the intellectual property to companies and entrepreneurs
  • Negotiate licenses to companies and manage these long-term relationships


When should I submit my idea or invention to TCO?

Submit your invention to TCO early, and email updates to TCO continuously. 

Submitting your invention to TCO before publishing or presenting it in public strengthens our ability to protect your intellectual property (IP). Some patent rights will be lost once a paper has been published and/or a poster is presented, so it is imperative that you contact TCO early. If this information has already been released to the public, contact us as soon as possible so that we can discuss your options. 

Contact TCO when:

  • You submit a grant proposal that includes testing a potential invention (beware writing about solutions in grant abstracts, they publish when awarded)
  • You have developed an invention or a copyrightable material
  • You plan to publish or present your discovery
  • Your research has federal funding or is industry-sponsored and may have resulted in intellectual property
  • You want to send research tools or materials to another institution
  • A company has contacted you and wants to learn more about your research
  • You want to start a company based on your technology
  • You are interested in sponsored or collaborative research with companies
  • You are named as an inventor on a patent application filed by another institution
  • You have an intellectual property related question

Keep TCO informed of updates after you submit your invention: 

After submitting your invention, inform TCO of any major breakthrough experiments, publications, and improvements to your technology. This information will help us market your invention to companies and improvements may be new inventions. Keep us updated on all stages of development, including:

  • Research proposals and grant awards
  • Prototypes developed
  • Additional data
  • Draft manuscripts or draft poster presentations


What should I submit to TCO?

Submit whatever you invented and the circumstances under which the invention was made.

GW policy requires that researchers (i.e., faculty, staff or students) who invent or co-invent a new patentable invention report your inventions, software, research tools and other items developed through your research that you believe may have commercial value. If you study or work at GW, you have a duty to report all inventions that were developed during work hours, while on campus and/or using the university's equipment or other resources. 

An invention is a novel and useful idea relating to processes, machines, articles of manufacture and compositions of matter. It may cover such things as new or improved devices, circuits, systems, chemical compounds, drugs, etc. Some technologies with commercial utility may not be inventions, but you should still submit them. Examples of such technologies include some software, integrated circuit designs, biological organisms, and the like.

To be patentable, the invention must not be obvious to a worker with average skills in that particular technology. In addition, it must not have been used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication anywhere, prior to the date of conception.

Your invention does not have to be a finished product, and you don't need to prepare a formal presentation or write-up. Contact us if:

  • You have an exciting new research proposal
  • You have preliminary data, manuscript drafts or results
  • You plan on presenting or publishing the new invention
  • You aren't sure whether or not you have a patentable invention

The purpose of the disclosure is to record what was invented and the circumstances under which the invention was made. The disclosure form provides the basis for a determination of patentability and for drafting a patent application. It is a legally important document that should be prepared carefully.

Familiarize yourself with the technology commercialization, licensing, and material transfer processes.

How should I submit my idea or invention to TCO?

Follow these steps:

  • Gather any and all publications, posters and/or materials about your technology.
  • Gather information about the inventors, funding sources, physical material received from outside GW, and planned presentations/publications.
  • Enter the GW Inventor Portal via single sign-on (SSO)* (or contact TCO if you don't have a GW NetID). Alternatively, you may still use the Microsoft Word form.
  • Edit and submit your online invention disclosure form in the GW Inventor Portal.
  • Once the disclosure form has been reviewed by TCO, you will be able to sign it online and return to monitor associated patent filings and license agreements.

* When you enter the portal for the first time, after GW SSO clearance, you will create an account by entering your email address. If you already have a GW invention on file, please enter your address, not and not Then check your contact info, update as needed, scroll down, and press "Create an Account".



"We were very fortunate to have the extensive experience and exceptional guidance from the GW Technology Commercialization Office in helping file the patents for two cancer-related inventions. Their diligence and efficiency were critical to the milestones in technology commercialization that we have reached so far."

Rong Li

Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Ross Professor of Basic Science Research

Rong Li