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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Disclosure of Inventions

To assure the University’s ability to comply with obligations arising under federal laws or in extramural sponsored research agreements, faculty, staff, and students are required as a condition of participation in sponsored research to file disclosure reports for any invention or discovery made during the course of their University activities.

To help ensure the university’s ability to comply with obligations arising under federal laws, industry sponsorship or other agreements, faculty, staff, and students participating in sponsored research have two essential requirements.

The first requirement is to complete a project participation form (PDF, available at, which confirms understanding of the contractual responsibilities associated with participation in sponsored research. Project participation is also certified by use of a WISPER record during the contract submission process.

The second requirement is to provide an Invention Disclosure Report whenever appropriate. An IDR covers any invention or discovery that was made during the course of University employment, that used university supplies and/or equipment as part of the inventive process, or that occurred on university premises.

Disclosures of inventions and discoveries are made using the Invention Disclosure Report, which can be found at these sites:

For inventions made at UW–Madison where federal funding is not involved, disclosure of the invention is still required by UW System Administrative Policies described here, and may also be required by the terms of non-federal funding agreements, if they exist.

UW System policies also apply to intellectual property created outside of extramural sponsored research agreements and require any member of the faculty or staff or student on appointment to report an invention or discovery made while pursuing their University duties, or on University premises, or with University supplies or equipment.

These disclosures should be made using the Invention Disclosure Report, which can be found here:


UW System Administrative Policy 346, Inventions and Patents, Section 6.A. Disclosure and Reporting of Inventions

“All inventions discovered by faculty, staff, or students on appointment while pursuing their university duties, or on university premises, or with university supplies or equipment must be reported to the chancellor or designee or the appropriate IPMO on the Invention Disclosure Report Form associated with this policy or a form that is substantially similar. Any invention conceived or first reduced to practice in the performance of work funded wholly or in part by the federal government is subject to the requirements of the Bayh-Dole Act.”

“Each institution must secure written agreements from all employees engaged in sponsored research projects, other than clerical and nontechnical employees, to disclose promptly in writing any invention subject to this policy to personnel identified as responsible for the administration of patent matters at the institution. The written agreement used must be substantially similar to the templates provided in association with this policy.”

UW–Madison intellectual property policies and procedures

UW–Madison project participation agreement

UW–Madison disclosure agreement in WISPER documents

“I agree to disclose promptly to the University any invention, novel variety of plant which is or maybe protected under the Plant Variety Protection Act, computer software which is potentially patentable or to which the sponsor has rights under the agreement, or mask work made by me in whole or in part, whether solely or jointly with others during and in the course of such extramurally supported research or other activity. I further agree that I will comply with the provisions of any agreement between the University and the sponsor, and will cooperate in assuring that the sponsor’s rights in intellectual property are fully protected. If an invention is funded in whole or in part by a federal agency or if the sponsored research agreement requires the University to grant rights in the invention to the sponsor, I hereby assign rights to any such invention to the University’s designated patent and intellectual property management organization and will execute all papers necessary to file patent applications on the invention and to establish the federal government’s or other sponsor’s rights in the invention. I confirm that I have not entered, and will not in the future enter, into any agreement or other obligation to another person, company, or extramural sponsor with respect to any rights in inventions, discoveries, or copyrightable material which are in conflict with the obligations contained in this agreement. By clicking on the “I Sign” button below, I agree to this text.

I agree to be responsible for assuring that all persons participating in the project, other than clerical or nontechnical persons, prior to commencing work on the project become familiar with the terms and conditions in the agreement between the extramural sponsor and the University and have signed a copy of a document agreeing to essentially the same obligations as set forth above.”