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IP Advising & Protection


Protecting your innovation.

Advising for UW Researchers

If this is your first time working with us, please request a consultation so we can connect you with the correct Innovation Manager. To disclose innovations before you share them publicly, submit a Record of Innovation (ROI) form.

Request a consultation with an innovation manager

For UW researchers who would like an initial consultation

Completion of this form allows UW CoMotion to best match our resources to answer your questions. You should receive a response within two business days.

Complete your record of innovation form

For UW researchers with an innovation to disclose

This ROI form is used for disclosing innovations to UW CoMotion including mechanical devices, materials, novel structures and biological compounds, processes, software, digital media, and copyrighted works. Filling out this form helps UW CoMotion protect IP, commercialize technologies, accelerate impact, and report to funding agencies on innovations.

Connect with Innovation Managers

Our Innovation Managers have advanced degrees and extensive experience in a broad range of high-demand technical areas. If you are already working with us and need to connect with your Innovation Manager, view our Innovation Manager profiles.

IP definition

Intellectual Property refers to property rights in ideas that are protected through federal and state laws governing patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. Know-how is sometimes also included in intellectual property licenses, and covers ideas and information that is not protected by patent, copyright or trade secret.

The value of IP is not only in the original idea, but in how that idea is protected through copyright, patent or trademark rights. To appropriately and diligently protect IP created at the UW, we use a management strategy that provides our licensees with the freedom they need to meet their strategic business needs, while giving the UW enough control to ensure the IP is as robust and broad as possible throughout the entire life cycle of the innovation.

Types of IP protections

At CoMotion, our IP staff includes patent portfolio managers and patent paralegals. Our patent portfolio managers have expertise in IP protection spanning sciences and engineering fields and are aligned with innovation stakeholders in creating, maximizing, and sustaining maximum commercial value from IP assets. Our experience in managing IP with outside law firms helps us establish a strategy to maximize—and protect—the commercial value of IP. We can assist with the following forms of IP protection, and tailor them to your unique circumstances:


A patent holder has the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, and importing an innovation for a period of time. Patents do not convey a right to sell, manufacture or use the innovation.


Copyrights protect not only books and journal publications, but also software, artwork, photography, music, and website content. The UW Copyright Connection provides resources on copyright law, policies, and guidelines.


These let you protect the goodwill of a distinctive name, word, or phrase or logo or other image that identifies or certifies a product or service in the marketplace.

Trade secrets, non-disclosure agreements, etc.

These allow proprietary information to be shared outside the University for collaborative, licensing, and other purposes.

Material transfer agreements

These allow transfer of research materials with other academic or corporate researchers.

Software copyrights & patents

As soon as you create a work in a tangible medium, such as a computer file, you have copyright in that work. Copyright protection gives the owner or licensee the right to control how other entities display, perform, distribute, copy, or create derivatives of the work.

How proceeds are distributed to inventors

80% of the proceeds from a license are shared equally among the inventors (for patent rights) and authors (for copyrights) of the technology (26.67%), their departments and schools (26.67%), and the Provost (26.67%). The Provost, schools, and departments invest in research programs. The remaining 20% goes to fund CoMotion’s patent budget and the commercialization services that provide world-class assistance to UW researchers.

Do students own their IP?

Students own their works developed in lecture-based courses or outside of any direct support from UW. If a student is an employee of the UW, including a graduate student doing funded research, then works created through the student’s employment are subject to the UW IP policy (EO 36). If a student participates in a research lab or in sponsored research, the student’s contributions to IP will be handled consistently with that research portfolio.

Additional resources


If you have questions feel free to reach out to us at or (206) 543-3970.