Core to commercialisation is the generation and execution of Intellectual Property (IP). Technology transfer experts in the Innovation Office are on hand to help NUI Galway’s research community in the generation and protection of IP.

What is IP?

To get an innovation to market you must do more than just develop a technology that works – you must ensure your invention meets a genuine market need, protect it and exploit it.

IP is the general term for intangible property rights which are a result of intellectual effort.  These might include inventions, patents, know-how and trade secrets, literary and artistic works. Other copyright-protectable materials are  software, symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. 

It is important to protect IP for the following reasons:

  1. Contributes toward the development of a knowledge society
  2. Attracts and protects investment
  3. Ensures good return on development costs
  4. Promotes innovation
  5. Creates barriers to entry
  6. Generates licensing income

For an invention to be patented, it must usually be:

  • new to the world (i.e. not available to the public anywhere in the world)
  • inventive (i.e. not an "obvious" solution), and
  • susceptible of industrial application

NUI Galway IP Policy

The NUI Galway IP Policy provides for the effective management of Intellectual Property created by university personnel and research students, including when working with other entities. The policy establishes the rules governing the ownership, disclosure, protection, and commercialisation of University Intellectual Property.  Click here to download the NUI Galway Intellectual Property Policy and Procedures document.

Lab notebooks

A laboratory notebook is for keeping a primary record of research - hypotheses, experiments, initial analysis, result interpretation etc. The notebook can also have a role in protecting any intellectual property that comes from the research. Laboratory notebooks can be purchased through the Innovation Office, and each official notebook comes with a unique reference number.  Order one now. (if you are asked for a password, use your idnumber@nuigalway.ie and usual password).

Process and paperwork

Lab notebooks are a great starting point when it comes to tracking your  ideas. When engaging with the Innovation Office you might like to put a Non-Disclosure Agreement  in place, which means the team is legally bound over not to disclose your ideas. 

Another important document is an Invention Disclosure Form which allows the commercial executives to evalute the evaluate the patentability and  commercial potential of the invention in question.

See if your technology is alread patented

Useful links on Intellectual Property