Commercialization of inventions based on university research is an important way to develop valuable products as well as an effective mechanism to disseminate knowledge gained from basic research. Many products on the market today originated from basic research conducted at universities.  

Brown University owns rights to inventions made by its faculty, graduate students and employees as further described in the 2005 Brown University Patent and Invention Policy and Copyright Policy.  Brown’s Office of Industry Engagement and Commercial Venturing (IECV) works with faculty and evaluates the novelty, potential patentability and commercial utility of inventions and if filed, negotiates licensing deals for commercialization. Inventors, their laboratories, their departments, as well as the university, all share in the proceeds generated from licensing of inventions.   

Inventors should disclose potentially patentable inventions (which can consist of draft manuscripts or abstracts) to IECV by filling out an Invention Disclosure Form. This should take place as early as possible in the inventive process, before a public disclosure of the idea or invention.