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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   Applying for federal funding
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Applying for federal funding
« on: Jul 18th, 2006, 3:33pm »
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I am a graduate student working in the nanotechnology field and I have a question that I'm hoping the board can help me with?
 
Our lab has come up with an idea for a new cancer related biomedical device that as of yet is completely on paper (i.e. we have not done any experimental work).  One of the principal investigators that helped come up with the theoretical design of the device has already talked to at least one company (w/ a confidentiality agreement in place) and they seemed to express interest in the idea.  However, there is no commitment in place and no dollars for research costs confirmed.  In the mean time, there is an NIH R21 grant announcement out specifically for funding experimentally unconfirmed projects such as this that could provide up to $275K for research over two years.  I am mildly aware of the fact that once publicly disclosed, we have one year to file for patent protection in the US and have lost patent protection in Europe (correct me, please, if I am wrong).  
 
My first question is:  Does applying for a federal grant such as an NIH R21 grant constitute public disclosure and start the clock ticking or is that equal to the confidentiality agreement used when talking to a private company?
 
Second:  What assurances are there in place that grant submission would not lead to someone seeing our idea and trying to create it first or slightly tweak it to accomplish the same goal?
 
Third:  I've already discussed the advantages/disadvantages of using a private company for funding and using the federal government for funding with someone in the tech transfer office but if anyone would like to include their own insights on that matter, I'd like to see them.
 
Thanks for any responses.
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Bill Richards
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Re: Applying for federal funding
« Reply #1 on: Jul 20th, 2006, 10:55am »
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This is a very specialized area.  I'd suggest you start with a review of the Bayh-Dole Act which discusses Federal government rights.
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William B. Richards, P.E.
The Richards Law Firm
Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
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Re: Applying for federal funding
« Reply #2 on: Jul 20th, 2006, 1:27pm »
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Thanks, Bill, for your reply.  We had a series of meetings yesterday and I think we've figured out what we need to know...for now, anyway Smiley
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