JMU Technology Innovation respects the rights and privileges afforded to inventors by local, state, and national laws. Under JMU’s Intellectual Property Policy inventions at JMU must be disclosed to the university. An invention is generally described as any new and useful process including computer programs, machine, article of manufacture, the composition of matter, or related improvement. The process of the invention includes the conception of the invention and reduction to practice showing the invention obtains desired results. In order for an invention to be patentable, it must have utility (be useful), it must be novel (new and original), and it must be non-obvious to one of ordinary skill in the field. An invention may also be a copyrightable creative work. Copyrightable creative works include applications for smart devices (e.g., iPhone or iPad apps), online textbooks, websites, questionnaires, survey instruments, and videos. 

We are the resource to assist all JMU faculty, staff, and students with intellectual property questions. Please feel free to contact us.

Types of Intellectual Property
  • A patent is a grant of property right by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for an invention or innovation. We highly encourage JMU Faculty and staff to use the Disclosure form to disclose any new inventions or innovations. We are a resource to guide them through the patent filing process.
  • The TI&ED can assist you in understanding if your invention is patentable, if anyone else has already created you invention (prior art) and what you can do to protect your self.
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  • A copyright protects original works including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works.
  • A copyright allows you to claim ownership of your own artistic and literary work by law.
  • A copyright is a grant of property right
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  • A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods of one party from another party.
  • A trademark protects brands or logos of a company.
  • TI&ED is a resource to help the JMU students, startups, faculty and staff understand how to trademark their brands, what can be trademark and find out who else has already trademarked something similar to you.
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Submit a Disclosure Form

To disclose an invention, faculty or students must complete a disclosure form. A disclosure form includes pertinent information about the invention such as a list of the inventors, a description of the invention, and information about a pre-existing sponsorship if one exists. Submitting a disclosure form is the first step towards gaining a copyright for your invention. 

The disclosure process can be puzzling for first time inventors so we have created a help sheet for your convenience. The help sheet breaks down the process by each section of the form.

Please submit completed Disclosure forms to and a signed original to:

JMU Technology Innovation
& Economic Development
127 W. Bruce Street
Ice House 225, MSC 4904
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

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