"If an employee has a new idea, what should he or she do?"
As soon as an LSU employee conceives a new idea with possible commercial potential, a Technology Disclosure Form should be completed and sent to the Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization.
"Does completing or submitting a Technology Disclosure Form to the Office of Innovation
& Technology Commercialization automatically create patent rights?"
No, a Technology Disclosure Form does not create legal rights. Completing and submitting a Technology Disclosure Form are the first important steps in seeking university patent protection, but do not in and of themselves create any legal rights.
"Who owns LSU employee inventions?"
It depends upon the circumstances under which the invention is made. The general rule is that any employee invention belongs to LSU, regardless of when or where the invention was conceived or reduced to practice, and regardless of whether LSU equipment and other resources were used when the invention was conceived or reduced to practice. The Bylaws provide a narrow exception for some inventions that are unrelated to the employee's field of expertise. See the Bylaws for details.
A student is treated as an LSU employee for these purposes when acting in the course of his/her employment. While each case will depend on its own facts, graduate students are usually treated as LSU employees for this purpose, while undergraduate students usually are not.
"Who owns an invention made on an employee's own time, without use of LSU facilities
or funds, and that is in an area or field that has nothing to do with his/her LSU
In this situation, the inventor will usually own the invention. It is useful to check with the Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization in order to help avoid potential misunderstandings.
"If an employee of LSU and an employee of an outside company or university invent
something jointly, who owns the invention?"
The resulting patent will usually be jointly owned by LSU and the outside employee/outside employer. It is important to note each case depends on its own facts.
"How are inventions made by faculty who have joint appointments on two LSU campuses
By cooperation between the Intellectual Property offices of the two campuses. This is an almost routine occurrence.
"Under what circumstances does LSU release inventions back to the inventor(s)?"
On the written request of the inventor(s), if approved by LSU at LSU's discretion. It is important to remember there is no automatic right to have inventions released back to the inventor(s).