Innovation and Commercialization
The Office of Research (OR) is the University office charged with management of SMU’s intellectual property (IP). OR collaborates with General Counsel at SMU and retains outside counsel to assess, protect, and commercialize intellectual property.
Patents - Protecting Inventions
A patent is a property right, which gives the holder the exclusive right to exclude others from the manufacture, use and sale of the invention for a period of time. As property, it may be sold or assigned, pledged, mortgaged, licensed, willed, or donated, and be the subject of contracts and other agreements. Under the United States standards of patentability, all patent applications are examined for (a) novelty, (b) utility, and (c) non-obviousness. Patents are granted for inventions of new and useful processes, machines, manufactured products, compositions-of-matter, or any new and useful improvement to an existing invention.
Faculty, Staff, and students who create intellectual property should submit an Invention Disclosure through the Wellspring Sophia Technology Transfer Software. Log in with your SMU credentials.
Details about the patent process can be found in the Research Handbook.
Copyrights - Protecting Original Artistic Works
A copyright is a grant by the United States of exclusive rights over literary, musical, or artistic work. An issued copyright ensures that the creative work will be expressed, duplicated, and shared in its original form. Copyright protection is available for a wide range of works, including books, plays, computer software, music and lyrics, artwork (pictorial, graphic, or sculptural), motion pictures, photographs, choreography, graphic design, and architectural works. Copyright protects only the original expression, not the idea itself.
Trademarks - Protecting Unique Identifiers
A trademark is a word, name or symbol adopted or used by an individual, corporation or other entity to distinguish its services from others' services. Trademarks protect unique identifiers, including slogans, logos, symbols, designs, packaging, or company colors. When a mark is registered in the Texas Secretary of State's Office or the US Patent and Trademark Office, the trademark owner obtains certain rights and benefits.