- Whom do I contact?
- What is intellectual property?
- How do I get started?
- When should I contact UIRF?
- What is an Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)?
- Relevant policies, procedures and links.
The University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF) is a UI affiliate 501(c)(3) organization that commercializes University of Iowa developed technologies and inventions through licensing and new venture formation, and manages the subsequent revenue stream. The UIRF’s primary functions are: New Ventures, Licensing, and Intellectual property services.
Generally speaking, intellectual property (IP) is an asset created by intellectual effort and the owner of IP holds certain legal rights. Depending on the type of IP involved, IP protection may be afforded by patent, copyright, trademark, or trade secret.
For definitions and information on University policies related to IP, visit the UIRF’s webpage on intellectual property basics.
Contact the UIRF. They’re passionate about bringing innovations out of the lab and into the marketplace, and value the opportunity to discuss ideas, innovations and new research directions with new and repeat inventors.
Contact the UIRF to submit an invention disclosure well in advance of any anticipated publication or presentation because public disclosure eliminates foreign patent rights and may create complications for US patent rights. Read more about when to submit an invention disclosure and other IP topics on their website.
Material Transfer Agreements came about because of intellectual property, confidentiality, and risk concerns of the institutions involved in the transfer of materials. Today most materials are exchanged with Material Transfer Agreements.
The University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF) is responsible for managing Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) for outgoing materials. The MTA fixes in writing the rights and obligations governing the distribution of biological or chemical substances owned or held by such parties to others. In exchange for granting the right to use the materials, the Providing Party places certain obligations on the Receiving Party due to the proprietary nature of the material(s), the Approved Research Plan, or the nature of the transfer itself.
The Division of Sponsored Programs processes and negotiates incoming MTAs in which UI researchers request materials from other organizations.