Technology Transfer and Your Research Goals at Roswell Park

Helping To Protect Your Ideas

Many great Institute inventions never realize their full potential of improving or saving lives because their inventors fail to protect them.  Most Institute inventions are a very early development stage and require substantial investment of resources before they are of practical use.  Without suitable safeguards, these investments are never made and many great ideas whither in the lab.  Roswell’s  technology transfer office protect the Institute’s intellectual property (IP) in order to drive the early-stage inventions to useful products or services benefiting the public.  Working with Roswell’s Technology Transfer Office (TTO), RPCI researchers can enhance the impact t of their work on their community, the Institute and their own labs.  This guide discusses how the technology transfer process works and the benefits to researchers.


The greatest benefit of technology transfer is the satisfaction of seeing your ideas improving the lives of the people around you.  Most researchers chose academic careers to help the public good.  Technology transfer helps ensure your hard work enriches you, your lab, the Institute and the public in general.  In addition, although your invention belongs to the Institute, you are usually entitled to 40% of the revenue.  The technology transfer process can also be the catalyst for collaborative research between you and scientists in the pharmaceutical industry.  As you work with corporate scientists, new opportunities can be created through corporate sponsored research funds and access to private research equipment, materials and resources.

Protect What is in Your Head

The TTO works to select the best means to protect your intellectual property.  To obtain a patent the invention must be novel, useful and not obvious.  These prerequisites seem simple but can be deceptive in practice.  We also help research the commercial market potential for the invention and determine whether a patent application would help or hinder the development of the invention.

When to Talk with Us

The short answer is as early as possible.  Public disclosures through publications, conference presentations, abstracts for a talk or conversations with a person not involved in creating the invention jeopardizes your foreign rights.  If you have publicly disclosed the invention, we may still be able to secure the US rights within the first year after the disclosure.

The Process

The process begins when you submit an Invention Disclosure (ID) Form to the TTO.  The form is at our website It will ask you straight forward questions and allows us to start a conversation with you to better understand the invention. After we receive the ID, we evaluate the invention for both IP protectability and its marketability.  If the intellectual property is sound and there is a market potential, the TTO may file a patent application.  Patents take two or more years to be processed by the US Patent and Trademark Office.  Patenting costs will be paid by the Institute.

Additional Services

The TTO drafts Confidentiality Agreements (CDA) and Material Transfer Agreements (MTA) to our researchers to protect your IP when you talk about or send your invention to outside groups.

In some cases, inventors may wish to form a start-up company.  The TTO can help guide you through the initial phases.  By securing IP protection and licensing it to you on terms designed for start-up companies, we provide a strong foundation for your effort.


As a Roswell employee, any inventions you make using Institute facilities belong to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and must be disclosed to the TTO.  You also are required to support the patent application process by providing documentation.  However, you still remain in the driver’s seat scientifically.  The TTO will not stand in your way of publishing or promoting your work.  We encourage inventors to work with us during the technology transfer process for a stimulating and enriching experience but we respect the wishes of those who prefer to concentrate on other matters.