Agreements for Cooperative & Sponsored Research

The Office for Technology Development (OTD) works with faculty members and outside agencies to execute cooperative and sponsored research agreements as defined below. These agreements comply with state and local laws, University policy, and any funding source restrictions. All intellectual property provisions must be fair, protective of faculty interests, and in accordance with University policy and the OTD mission. 

Cooperative & Sponsored Research Agreements Defined

Cooperative and sponsored agreements managed by the OTD include these specific types and related terminology: 

  • What is a patent?

    A patent is an agreement between the U.S. government and the inventor(s) in which they agree to an exchange wherein the U.S. gives the inventor(s) the exclusive right to benefit from their invention for a period of years. In return, the inventor discloses to the public the knowledge of what the invention is, how to make it, and how to use it.

  • What is a provisional patent application?

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers inventors the option of initially filing a provisional application for a patent. The provisional application provides a lower-cost initial patent filing in the United States. A provisional application is not required to name the inventors or to have a formal patent claim or an oath or declaration, and it lasts 12 months from the date the provisional application is filed. At the end of the 12-month period, the provisional application is converted to a formal, or nonprovisional, application to be reviewed and examined by the USPTO.

  • What does the “first-to-file” rule mean?

    In 2013, the America Invents Act went into effect. It states that the first person to file a patent on an invention owns the rights to that invention. Because of this Act, the rule now in the U.S., as well as in the rest of the world, is that the first to file a patent application will be awarded the patent, regardless of who invented it first.

  • What is the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)?

    The USPTO is the federal agency organized under the Department of Commerce that administers patents on behalf of the U.S. government. The USPTO employs patent examiners skilled in all technical fields in order to appraise patent applications. The USPTO also issues federal trademark registrations.

What Agreement Do I Need?

Find the agreement you need through the Contracts and Agreements Pathfinder (CAP), a tool that UT Southwestern created that allows users to work through a flowchart to accurately identify the appropriate system and agreement type for their research. Pathfinder (CAP) will connect with eAgreements for ease of access to appropriate forms to initiate an agreement. Employees can only access Pathfinder (CAP) through the intranet.

How to Initiate an Agreement

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