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Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

The Office of Research & Creative Activity supports faculty, staff and students with obtaining, protecting and marketing intellectual property rights and supports and encourages efforts directed toward bringing the products of research, creative activity, and scholarship to public use and benefit. 

The term, intellectual property, encompasses: patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.Patents protect new and useful inventions; copyrights protect creative expressions; trademarks identify the source of commercial goods or services; and trade secrets protect valuable, “secret” information.Western Kentucky University’s Policy on Intellectual Property (IP) can be found on the WKU Research Policies page along with other research policies.

Do you believe that you have discovered something of potential commercial value or commercial relevance during the course of your research, creative, and scholarly activities at WKU?

Do you have questions regarding ownership of the intellectual property?

Are you unsure if the invention or copyrightable work will require completion of an Intellectual Property Disclosure Form?

 If the answer to any of these questions is yes, we encourage you to complete and submit a brief questionnaire . Your responses will be held in confidence. Once we receive the completed questionnaire, we will review your responses and will provide feedback and recommendations promptly. 

Additionally, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Research & Creative activity informally. We are always happy to discuss IP issues and answer any questions that you may have. ( ; 270-745-4652)


Intellectual Property Committee

Innovative ideas – intellectual property – may be of benefit to faculty, staff and students, but also may have a wider reach outside the university environment. The IP Committee can assist in protecting the rights of all parties involved relating to intellectual property.

The Intellectual Property Committee serves as an advisory committee to the Associate Provost for Research and Creative Activity. The committee is comprised of WKU faculty and staff who provide broad technical expertise across a variety of disciplines (link to list of current committee members). There is also at least one member of the committee who is an outside member with relevant expertise.


Confidential IP Disclosure

A confidential intellectual property disclosure form (Confidential Invention Disclosure Form) is a document used by researchers to inform WKU about a potentially commercially relevant discovery. It is also a tool that will allow WKU’s IP committee to gather the information necessary to evaluate the invention or copyrightable work. The IP committee will review the invention disclosure to evaluate whether the invention is potentially patentable under U.S. patent law (or copyrightable) and, whether the invention (or copyrighted material) has the potential to attract a company willing to develop it into commercial products. The committee will also review any relevant funding agreements, material transfer agreements and/or other applicable policies to determine if any preexisting intellectual property obligations are owed to sponsors or other third parties. Once the committee review process is complete, the Associate Provost for Research & Creative Activity will contact the researcher to provide feedback and to discuss the recommendations of the IP committee.

Contact Us:


Intellectual Property Committee

Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11026
Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101-1026



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 Last Modified 8/17/16