Invention Disclosure Process

Light Bulb Chalk Board

If you have an idea that you are considering taking forward, here is a guide to the process and where to find the necessary forms and resources. Please contact the Office of Innovation Development (OID) with any questions at any time during the process at

Evaluation Phase

  • Contact OID at (link sends e-mail) and introduce your idea using the Invention Disclosure Form.  A staff member will have an indepth conversation with you about your idea and some of the key considerations that will be taken into account during the evaluation process. Some of these considerations are listed below and will eventually make up the business case, should the invention move forward. Consider the following areas of concern:
  1. Technical strength – this includes a product profile, (what does it do? what are its components? structure?), an evaluation of proprietary strength, technology durability, commercial readiness, and a definition of the unmet need the product is addressing
  2. Commercial strength – this includes an analysis of how product fits into the current marketplace, market size and characteristics, competitive landscape, and margin/profit potential
  3. Description of technical and business teams
  4. Any external factors that could impact success
  • Continue to refine the idea/innovation and begin to address key considerations listed above.
  • Build the business case in preparation for a potential meeting with the Intellectual Property Committee. At this point, a rigorous analysis of the invention will be performed and all components of the business case mentioned previously will need to be finalized. Additionally, potential sources of funding will be identified, and a patenting and development strategy will be developed.


  • If your project is to be brought forward it must be formally disclosed to Children's National. Internal disclosure must take place before external disclosure. OID will help you determine a disclosure strategy and when it makes most sense for you to publicly disclose your invention.

Intellectual Property Committee (IPC) review

  • A formal presentation to the IPC will need to be scheduled. The IPC meets quarterly, or more frequently if needed.  (See Children's IP Policy for more information.) At this meeting, you will present your idea and the business case that has been developed to support its commercial and/or strategic value. IPC will review and make a determination as to its interest. If Children's National is not interested in pursuing your invention, all rights will revert to the inventor.


  • If Children's National is interested in pursuing your invention, a law firm will be engaged to assist with preparing and filing the patent. OID will help manage the filing process and commit funding to pay for legal fees.
  • A provisional patent should be filed or other intellectual property protection should be established such as a Trademark Registration.
  • The laws have changed in the United States and now reward earlier filing of your provisional or nonprovisional patent application. Within a year after the provisional patent is filed, the invention must be reduced to practice and the nonprovisional patent filed. OID and our identified law firm will help with this phase.
  • Potential strategic development partners will be identified and evaluated to aid in introducing the invention to the marketplace.