Disclose an Invention

What do I need before I can begin?

Prior to disclosing an Invention, it is useful to review the information on U of T’s Inventions Policy and Revenue Sharing page. The invention should be more than an idea. There should be reduction to practice, data or a prototype that shows the idea is valid.


Filing a Confidential Invention Disclosure (CID) is mandatory and your first step towards commercialization at the University of Toronto (U of T). This disclosure form asks for a description of the invention, the inventors, and information about funding sources and resources used to create the invention. Disclosing the invention is a requirement before selling, licensing, patenting or otherwise assigning an invention created at U of T. This information also helps The Innovations and Partnerships Office (IPO) determine if a funder, or other party, has prior commercial rights to the invention, whether the invention is patentable, or if it has market potential.

U of T has a modern, flexible ownership Inventions Policy that is ‘Inventor’s Choice’: in absence of pre-existing IP rights, inventors may choose to assume full responsibility for patenting and commercialization, or can offer to assign the invention to U of T. If an invention is offered to U of T, IPO will evaluate it prior to accepting.

If the work that led to the invention was done at another institution (e.g., at a U of T-affiliated hospital), contact the appropriate hospital research office or the other institution’s technology transfer office. Generally, the location of the majority of the work will determine which institutional policy will apply and whether or not an inter-institutional agreement is necessary.

When to File a Disclosure

Disclosures should be filed as soon as the invention is clearly conceptualized or as soon as the new product or process can be described in enough detail that someone else familiar with the field could use it.

Patents and other Intellectual Property (IP) rights may be affected by public disclosure of the invention (e.g. through written publication, thesis, presentation, manuscripts, and/or abstracts), so IPO encourages inventors to file CIDs as soon as possible and prior to any public disclosure.

If you believe that what you have developed does not fall under the Inventions Policy and wish to confirm, please fill out the Declaration of Invention with No Significant Use Form. We may keep this form on record and it will be held at IPO for informational purposes only.

How to File an Invention Disclosure

  1. Fill out the Confidential Invention Disclosure Form. Use the Guide to the U of T Inventions Disclosure Form to assist you in filling out this form
  2. Submit the unsigned form in Word (.doc) format, to IPO via email to
  3. The IP Officer will examine your application, and return for clarification or any missing information. When complete, you will be advised it is ready for signing/dating.

If you require assistance, please contact

What to Expect after Disclosing

  1. You will be contacted by an Intellectual Property Officer from IPO to acknowledge receipt of your disclosure.
  2. If a research partner or sponsor has an option to license your invention, or if we must notify them that an invention has been made, IPO will notify the partner that a CID has been submitted. In some cases, IPO will await their response before additional action is taken.
  3. If there are no sponsor or other third party obligations and you request personal ownership, the Intellectual Property Officer will provide you with assignment documentation. Please note that with ownership of an Invention comes many responsibilities. Please be informed and prepared prior to requesting ownership by reviewing the Guidelines for Personal Ownership of Inventions.
  4. If you wish to offer the Invention to U of T, specialists at IPO will evaluate the patentability and commercial potential of the invention before accepting it into U of T’s portfolio.
  5. If the invention is not accepted, IPO will provide rationale and in some cases suggest additional work to refine the invention. If the project is accepted into IPO‘s portfolio, we will work with you during the commercialization process.

Forms & Downloads


  • Advise on U of T’s Inventions Policy
  • Receive and evaluate Confidential Invention Disclosures for technologies created at U of T
  • Support the protection of U of T IP through patenting and other means
  • Assist in finding partners and funding to support proof-of-concept and commercialization
  • Market U of T Inventions to potential licensees, industry and investors
  • Negotiate license agreements
  • Support long-term relationships with strategic partners that support help develop early-stage discoveries into market-ready technologies and products

VPRI Contact


General Inquiries: Intellectual Property

Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO)

Other Resources