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Frequently Asked Questions
Technology transfer is the mechanism by which the accumulated knowledge developed by a specific entity is transferred wholly or partially to another one to allow the receiver to benefit from such knowledge

Technology transfer requires a proactive approach that combines engaging researchers, promoting the technology, and encouraging potential industrial partners to use the technology. The end goal of the commercialization strategy is to establish a commercial relationship with another party.

Technology transfer ensures that the interests and rights of the university in the intellectual property are protected. In addition, the university is able to retain the intellectual property rights of the technology and issue a license for the conditional use of the technology.

Intellectual property comes in many shapes and forms namely copyright, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets.

  • Copyright equals some form of creative expression that’s fixed in a tangible medium, such as non-open source software code, art, text, books, photos, videos, movies, songs, recordings, drawings, etc. While there is no such thing as 100% international copyright protection, the United States and most other countries offer protection according to international copyright treaties and conventions. Some 148 countries currently participate, offering certain base levels of protection.
  • Trademark is a symbol, word, phrase, sound, color, or other unique identifier of specific goods or services from a specific source.
  • Patents give an owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling, and importing an invention for a limited period of time, usually in years. They are only applicable in the country in which the patent application was filed and granted, so inventors/companies need to consider applying for patents in other countries where the invention may be sold or manufactured.
  • Trade Secret is any confidential, non-public formula, practice, design, method, compilation, device, or other information that has economic value and is used in business.

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention. In other words, a patent is an exclusive right to a product or a process that generally provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application.

Patents may be granted for inventions in any field of technology. An invention can be a product or a process for producing a specific compound.

There are certain conditions that must be met in order to obtain a patent and it is not possible to compile an exhaustive, universally applicable list. However, some of the key conditions include the following:

  • The invention must show an element of novelty; that is, some new characteristic which is not known in the body of existing knowledge in its technical field. This body of existing knowledge is called “prior art”.
  • The invention must involve an “inventive step” or “non-obvious”, which means that it could not be obviously deduced by a person having ordinary skill in the relevant technical field.
  • The invention must be capable of industrial application, meaning that it must be capable of being used for an industrial or business purpose beyond a mere theoretical phenomenon, or be useful.
  • Its subject matter must be accepted as “patentable” under law.
  • The invention must be disclosed in an application in a manner sufficiently clear and complete to enable it to be replicated by a person with an ordinary level of skill in the relevant technical field.

Scientific research organizations and academic institutions tend to publish research results as quickly as possible through journal articles that often have multiple co-authors in addition to the primary researcher(s).

Some of the reasons for adding persons as co-authors include:

  • The primary researcher will employ students to perform routine assay and testing, e.g., sequencing genes and other routine laboratory work; it is customary to add the students as co-authors.
  • The co-author may be a colleague who has been asked to proofread the article before publication. The co-author may be listed because he is the primary researcher’s supervisor or faculty advisor, although supervision may have merely been general.
  • All of the members of a research team may be listed as co-authors, even though the project was entirely designed by and managed by the primary researcher.
  • When the publication is a summary or condensed version of a doctoral dissertation, a faculty advisor may be listed as co-author because the advisor suggested the topic or problem that is the subject of the dissertation.
  • The co-author may have contributed to the journal article by updating the general state of current research, or by providing a theoretical explanation, including equations, for why the solution put forth in the article works or represents an advance in the art.
  • All of these may be valid reasons for naming persons as co-authors, and may be in accordance with the customary practice in the research field of institutional practice, but none of these reasons is sufficient for naming the co-author as an inventor in a U.S. patent application.
  • A U.S. patent application must name the inventors of the invention being claimed, which may be for a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter. The “invention” is defined by the claims in the patent application. Typically, the claims will include one or more independent claims, which will include a combination of steps (for a process or method), or a combination of elements (for a machine, manufacture, or composition of matter). The application may also include a series of dependent claims, each of which adds at least one additional step or element to the combination in the independent claim, or that places some limitation or qualification on a step or element already recited in the independent claim. An inventor is a person who contributes to adding a step, an element, or a limitation to at least one claim in the patent application.

Invention is usually said to require (1) conception; and (2) reduction to practice. “Conception” is the process of coming up with the idea for the invention that is complete enough that one of ordinary skill in the art can make and use the invention without undue experimentation. “Reduction to practice” may be an actual reduction to practice, e.g., making a model or prototype, or a constructive reduction to practice by filing a patent application that describes how one of ordinary skill in the art can make and use the invention without undue experimentation. A person who makes the model or prototype based solely on the instructions of the primary researcher is not an inventor. If, however, the person making the prototype must engage in nonroutine experimentation or solve an unexpected technical problem to make the invention work as described, then he may be a co-inventor, particularly if the solution to the problem is not known in the art. There may be joint inventorship. Usually joint inventorship will require communication between the joint inventors to come up with the complete conception of the invention, but not always.

The protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years from the filing date of the application.
Patents are territorial rights. In general, the exclusive rights are only applicable in the country or region in which a patent has been filed and granted, in accordance with the law of that country or region.

After the appropriate intellectual property protections have been secured for an invention, the next step in the commercialization process is to explore options for licensing the invention. What is patent licensing?

It is part of how to patent an idea and is a revocable agreement between a patent owner and a licensee to transfer interest in a patent to a licensee, who can benefit from and enforce the intellectual property rights.

A patent owner can license or transfer interest in a patent. The licensor gives up the right to the intellectual property, usually for a certain period. During this time, the licensee can make or sell the invention or design. The licensee can also profit from the intellectual property during the license period.

There are two types of patent licenses:

  • Exclusive Licenses: These transfer all ownership rights to a licensee. The licensor still owns the title. All patent owners must agree to an exclusive license.
  • Non-Exclusive Licenses: These allow the licensee to produce the invention or design. The licensee doesn't gain exclusive rights. The licensor and other parties can also produce the invention or design. Only one patent owner has to agree to a non-exclusive license.
  • Patent licensing lets you profit from the rights to your invention. You can collect royalties from sales.
  • Limited Risk Manufacturing a product or design can be expensive. It can also have a high level of risk. Patent licensing lets you transfer the risk to another party.
  • Limited Time Period You don't have to sign away the rights to your intellectual property forever. You can include a time period in the license. When the period expires, you regain the exclusive rights.
  • Limited Time Period You don't have to sign away the rights to your intellectual property forever. You can include a time period in the license. When the period expires, you regain the exclusive rights.
  • Eliminating Patent Infringement If someone infringes your patent, you can sue. Suing can get expensive, and it might not provide the results you want, either. Instead of suing, consider patent licensing. This option gives a competitor the right to your intellectual property, and it gives you the right to profit at the same time.

Step 1: Determine the type of Intellectual Property protection that you need

To protect your invention, you may need a patent, trademark, copyright, marketing plan, trade secrets, or some combination of these. Before you begin preparing a patent application, find out if you really need a patent or some other form of Intellectual Property protection.

Step 2: Determine if your invention is patentable

You cannot get a patent if your invention has already been publicly disclosed. Therefore, a search of all previous public disclosures (prior art) including, but not limited to previously patented inventions (prior art) should be conducted to determine if your invention has been publicly disclosed and thus is not patentable.

Step 3: What kind of patent do you need?

Inventors may apply for one of two types of patent applications:

  • Nonprovisional application, which begins the examination process and may lead to a patent;
  • Provisional application, which establishes a filing date but does not begin the examination process.

Step 4: Get ready to apply

Once you have determined the type of Patent that you need, you can simply submit an invention disclosure to the KETT through the official electronic platform Sophia: ( )

After you've submitted your invention disclosure, KETT will work with you to evaluate the potentiality of your invention.

KETT evaluate patents for licensing and commercialization through different committees consists of highly qualified members specialized in their fields

KETT seeks an invention protection from United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), Saudi Arabia, and wherever the technology has a market.

A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process. It is a term used in a variety of contexts, including semantics, design, electronics, and software programming. A prototype is generally used to evaluate a new design to enhance precision by system analysts and users. Prototyping serves to provide specifications for a real, working system rather than a theoretical one.

A prototype allows a designer or developer to create a form out of a concept, so that everyone who is involved in the process can give their feedback and make necessary adjustments before a final version is produced. Also, it provides a true test of the design and its intended function. It means that the prototyped unit can be tested in its true environment.

The process of product and technology development contains risk. Developing a product that uses new technologies even increases the risk. Therefore it is important to understand those risks early and have strategies to mitigate them.

De-risking is the steps to properly develop the technology components that maximize benefits and minimizing development risks that can be brought by unproven technologies.

Technology readiness levels (TRLs) are formal metrics that support assessments of a particular technology and provide the ability to consistently compare levels of maturity between different types of technologies. The TRL Scale uses a set of questions designed to measure progress of a technology toward maturity.

Last Update
9/25/2020 5:28:10 PM