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Intellectual Property

The Georgia Southern University Research and Service Foundation assists Georgia Southern University faculty from all university units with identifying, protecting, and managing intellectual property. The most visible rewards of this research and scholarly pursuits are the host of publications, presentations, and graduate theses, which communicate research findings to scientific colleagues throughout the world, and provide the basis for educating students. Such broad dissemination of research results is unquestionably the primary goal of the University’s research activities.  At the same time, researchers and scholars can also reap fiscal recognition for efforts resulting in intellectual property.

Intellectual property (IP) refers to the ownership of an idea or design by the person who came up with it. It is a term used in property law. It gives a person certain exclusive rights to a distinct type of creative design, meaning that nobody else can copy or reuse that creation without the owner’s permission.

Intellectual property can be further defined as any new, novel, and useful product that is created through efforts of research and development. The creation and development of new inventions and improvements, many time utilizing existing technologies, are a primary force of our economy which relies upon the sharing and transfer of technology into the marketplace.

Creators and inventors of intellectual property benefit from sharing their original work and ideas with the public through a process called technology transfer. The public compensates creators for their work by granting them intellectual property protection in the form of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. These forms of intellectual property protection provide inventors and authors with exclusive rights to the benefits of their creation, and allow the creator to license or sell these exclusive rights for a profit.

Intellectual Property Policy

The Georgia Southern University Intellectual Property Policy governs all intellectual property created by faculty, staff and students.

View the Georgia Southern University Intellectual Property Policy (Section 402, page 119)

Types of Intellectual Property Protection

Patent: Protects an invention for 20 years from the date of filing.
Trade Secret: Any information, device, method, formula, etc., whether or not copyrightable or patentable, which is not generally known to the public and which gives competitive advantage to its owner.
Copyright: Protected written and artistic works for the life of the author plus 70 years. See Copyright Compliance and TEACH Act for more information.
Trademark: Protects icons such as words, names, symbols, or designs that symbolize a certain individual or organization, for as long as the icon remains in regular use. Examples include “Nike” and “GM”.

For additional information or questions concerning the Intellectual Property Policy, please contact the Office of Legal Affairs.

University Patent Application Portfolio

Serial No.TitleFiling DateInventors
15/639,215 Nanoencapsulated Compositions 6/30/2017Mujibar Khan
Sakib Igbal
15/664.824 Biocidal Bio-Based Resins and Coatings7/31/2017Weihua Ming
Jie Zhao
15/584,122 Asymmetric Silicon Membranes 5/2/2017 Ji Wu
Hao Chen Ian Byrd
16/566,466 Asymmetric Membranes 9/23/2019 Ji Wu
Hao Chen Ian Byrd

Intellectual Property Disclosure

Prompt disclosure of intellectual property is necessary for effective protection and transfer of the technology. Disclosure is essential to protect potential patent rights and is a firm requirement of U.S. federal law when any federal money has been used to support the research. Disclosure is made using an Invention Disclosure Form.

Inventors must use an Invention Disclosure Form to provide necessary information, such as the source of funding, date of impending or issued publications, identity of all inventors, existence of records describing the invention, etc. If difficulty in obtaining this information is encountered or time pressures interfere, the Georgia Southern University Research and Service Foundation (GSURSF) and the Office of Legal Affairs can assist in the process.

The GSURSF has the responsibility to inform the sponsors of the occurrence of inventions under a research contract and to protect potential patent rights.

Inventors should also indicate any special information or desires at the time of disclosure. For instance, collaborations with non-Georgia Southern University colleagues or interest expressed by industrial scientists should be reported.

It may also be possible for inventors with an entrepreneurial spirit to commercialize their own technologies. However, an Invention Disclosure Form must be filled out in all cases where an invention is identified, and any interest in self-promotion of the invention should be brought to the attention of the GSURSF.


Download the Invention Disclosure Form

Last updated: 9/8/2020