Report an Invention


Reporting your invention is easily done via the university's NEW Agreement/Inventor Portal. With this online tool, researchers can confidentially disclose inventions and check the status of their submission(s) and associated legal documents at any time.

Please submit reports of invention via the university’s NEW Agreement/Inventor Portal.

Agreement/Inventor Portal

For a complete user guide to the Agreement/Inventor Portal Click Here.

During your research at the University of Alberta you may have created a new innovation. The first step in protecting that invention, called intellectual property or IP, is confidentially reporting it to the university before publishing or sharing at a conference, in a lecture or in a poster. Any patentable IP created at the university must be disclosed before commercialization per the university’s Patent Policy and Patentable IP Commercialization Procedure. In addition, the university may require other types of inventions be disclosed to facilitate compliance sponsored research agreement terms (or other similar agreements).

This is the formal start of the commercialization process. If patentable IP was created at the university, the inventor must complete a confidential Report of Invention (ROI) — the first step in protecting that invention and IP. Reporting complies with external contractual requirements and the university’s Patent Policy and may also be required to comply with sponsored research agreements. Inventors can easily file and sign a ROI with the help of the university’s Technology Transfer Services (TTS) office and using the Inventor Portal

Reporting is sharing complete information about your invention so that patentability and commercial potential can be evaluated. The report describes the idea/invention, identifies inventor(s), funding details, if any public disclosure has occurred, and other related agreements so ownership and rights can be determined.

Why report

Confidential reporting is the first step to determining patentability and commercial potential. Reporting is also required before commercialization, licensing or selling of your invention, and to comply with most industry contractual requirements, as well as with the university’s Patent Policy. Reporting may also be required to comply with sponsored research agreements.

IP Ownership Options

Please note: Unless there is a specific written agreement stating otherwise, the inventor(s) own the newly created intellectual property. When reporting, inventors may choose between two IP ownership options:

  1. Commercialize the technology through the university, which assigns ownership of the technology to the university, wherein the university supports and assumes responsibility for commercialization. In this case, TTS will provide IP assessments, help form IP strategy, cover initial patent filing costs (if applicable), and undertake commercialization activities like marketing and licensing. 
  2. Commercialize independently, where the inventor retains ownership of the technology and assumes responsibility for commercialization and associated costs. If the IP ownership remains with the inventor, these costs will be borne by the inventor, but less royalty revenue will be shared with the university.

There are a variety of reasons for choosing either ownership structure. Notably, revenue sharing between the university and inventors differ under both options as per the Commercialization of Patentable Intellectual Property Procedure, except when the technology is commercialized through a spinoff company. Please visit the Create a Spinoff page for a detailed outline and FAQ for this process and consult a TTS Associate Director if you are considering creating a company to commercialize your innovation.

After filing

After a report is filed, it is assigned to one of the university’s Technology Transfer Services team to be assessed for patentability and commercial potential. The team can also help you navigate the commercialization process and help you determine the best strategy and next steps, which could be licensing or creating a company, or other options depending on the invention.

Technology Transfer Services

The innovation and commercialization process can be complex and sometimes daunting; TTS’s role is to provide inventors with support and information during their commercialization journey. The TTS team provides inventors with assistance during the commercializing, marketing and licensing of new technologies by providing market assessments, patentability assessments and connection to potential industry partners. Inventors are encouraged to contact TTS when an invention takes place and before completing a ROI.