6 IDR/SDRs document the invention/software and help TD evaluate the intellectual property protection and commercial potential of the idea or software. The record is also used to ensure compli- ance with DOE requirements. A CM is assigned to guide a disclosure through the technology transfer process. Submitting an IDR/SDR form does not by itself protect the IP; IP protection is achieved through the patenting and/or copyrighting process. The United States uses a first-to-file basis; not a first-to-invent basis. Early filing is critical to successfully being granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Common Disclosure Questions What is an IP disclosure? Also known as an invention disclosure, it is a detailed description of the invention or development. It includes information necessary to begin pursuing protection and commercialization activities. When is research considered an invention? All novel developments not obvious to one skilled in the art that may solve a significant problem or have considerable value are potential inventions.A CM can help determine if specific inventions are appropriate to disclose in INL’s IPDS. When should the IP be disclosed? An IP disclosure should be completed whenever there is a discovery of something unique or novel.This should be done well before presenting the discovery through publications, poster sessions, conferences, press releases or other communications. It is usually best if inventors submit a disclosure once proof of concept of the invention has been achieved. Regardless of the state of development, disclosure toTD is important to protect patent rights. Should research tools be disclosed? Some research tools, such as antibodies, materials or data sets, do not necessarily need to be protected by patents in order to be licensed to commercial third parties and generate revenue. Other tools, such as new separation processes, may need to be patented so that a company will invest in the development to make the process broadly useful.The TD professionals can help with the appropriate protection, licensing and distribution strategy. Should visiting scientists be listed on the IP disclosure? All contributors to the ideas leading to the discovery should be listed in the disclosure, even if they are not INL employees.TheTD professionals, along with legal counsel, can determine the rights of parties and institutions. It is prudent to discuss all working relationships withTD before beginning joint research, in order to understand the implications for any subsequent inventions. What information goes into a disclosure?The questions in the form are meant to helpTD understand how the invention works, evaluate additional circumstances that might affect the ability to secure IP protection and begin the commercialization process.Topics include the conception and reduction to practice, the funding source, collaborators and any previous public disclosure.