Cornell University

Have you made an important discovery or come up with an inventive idea? Contact CTL to explore what should be done before you disclose it to the public.

Disclosing Inventions

Disclosure of the invention is the first formal step in the commercialization process. All inventions made by faculty, staff and students must be disclosed to CTL regardless of the monies (federal, private, etc.) that funded the research leading to the invention. The invention disclosure form should be submitted with a written description of the invention (additional manuscripts, explanatory drawings, and supporting data are also very helpful). When you disclose the invention to CTL, a licensing professional will be assigned to manage the invention and will be in contact with you shortly.


To complete your disclosure, CTL will work with you to:

  1. arrive at a concise definition of your invention
  2. explore potential commercial applications of your invention
  3. complete any remaining gaps in the invention disclosure form - the more information you provide up front, the more efficient your first meeting will be

Cornell Policy 1.5 - Inventions and Related Property Rights

Invention Disclosure Form


For Plant Breeders Only:

Plant Material Disclosure Form

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Disclosure and Dissemination of Plant Materials


Disclosing a Work of Authorship

As an academic institution, Cornell appointees generate work of authorship (“Work”) in many of their endeavors. If the Work is the result of the official activities at Cornell, the copyrights that subsist in the Work are owned by Cornell and the appointees are encouraged to attach to their Work and all copies thereof a “copyright notice” as illustrated below:


Copyright © Year A to Year B Cornell University. All Rights Reserved.


Please note that in the above notice statement, Year A is the year when the Work was first completed. Year B is the year when the Work was last updated. If the Work has never been updated, the use of Year A alone in the above notice is sufficient.


Most Work, once fixed in a medium, is automatically protected by copyrights. There is no need to proceed through a special application process at that point. Due to the vast quantity of scholarly Work done in a university like Cornell, authors are required to disclose their Work to the university through CTL only when they intend to broadly distribute their Work or to commercialize the Work and/or the copyrights subsisting therewith. Authors should also disclose their Work to CTL if they believe the Work and the copyrights subsisting therein are of great value to the university.


Once CTL receives your disclosure, a licensing professional will contact you to learn more about your Work and to explore with you the proper channel for distribution.


Cornell Policy 4.15 - Copyright

Copyright Disclosure Form