Publishing & Research Considerations

A Guide to Intellectual Property and Commercialization at UGA

Yes. However, if you publish patentable research before a patent application is filed, your patent rights may be affected. There are significant differences between the US and other countries on how early publication affects a potential patent. Once an invention is publicly disclosed, it may have restricted or minimal potential for patent protection outside of the US. Please inform Innovation Gateway of any imminent or prior presentation, lecture, poster, abstract, website description, research proposal submission, thesis, publication or other public presentation concerning your invention. You also need to abide by any publication review terms that may appear in the funding agreement for your research.

Yes. If you want to obtain materials from an outside collaborator, an incoming Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) should be completed. It is important to determine the date and conditions of use of the material or IP in case this use impacts ownership and license rights of your subsequent research results.

Similarly, you can also share materials, research tools or IP with other for use in their research. If you want to send materials to an outside collaborator, an outgoing MTA should be completed. It may also be necessary to have a Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) completed to protect your research results or IP.

You may request an incoming or outgoing MTA/NDA through the online submission tool, Sophia.

Contact Innovation Gateway at if you have questions about MTAs or NDAs.

Sponsored project agreements should specify what rights a sponsor has to IP resulting from sponsored work. If the sponsored project agreement is silent as to sponsor ownership, the University has all rights in the IP.

Sponsored research projects are handled by the Special Projects Administration (SPA). If you have questions regarding sponsored research, please find your SPA representative or email

Researchers may consult for outside organizations in accord with University approval and the UGA IP Policy. Any consulting agreement should include a statement that the researcher has obligations to the University as described in the UGA IP Policy, and the UGA IP Policy should be attached to the consulting agreement. Researchers should be sure to report any consulting relationships with the conflict of interest representative with in the Research Office. Each UGA college/school may have its own policies regarding consulting and outside work.

For additional information on consulting, see the UGA policy on Consulting and Outside Work for Pay.