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IP Chalk Talk

2022 IP Trends

By Andy Bluvas

As we enter into the final quarter of fiscal year 2022, CURF has received 47 invention disclosures to date. This represents an increase in disclosures compared to last year which totaled 39 at this point in the year. Based on the number of disclosed innovations, one can see that Clemson has maintained a high level of research activity despite the global pandemic. 

The type of technologies disclosed showcase the diverse types of research done at Clemson. The top four technical innovation areas include medical devices, advanced manufacturing, automated vehicles and AI software. Other invention areas include advanced materials and chemical processes as well as education curricula and agricultural innovations. Faculty members from Bioengineering and Automotive Engineering departments contributed the most invention disclosures so far this fiscal year with 11 and 9 respective disclosures. The ECE and MSE departments are tied for third place in invention disclosure submissions, at 5 each.

The most notable trend in this year's invention disclosures is the increase in the number of copyrightable submissions, which make up nearly a third of the disclosed technologies. When developing new software, authors should take note of whether their software utilizes existing code and whether it implements any novel computing methods and algorithms. This can make a difference in how CURF may choose to protect the disclosure. New code that is built using novel methods or algorithms may be suitable for a patent filing, while preexisting code that is adapted for new uses is often best protected using copyright. 

For copyrightable educational disclosures such as online courses or curricula, authors should verify that they have the proper permissions to use any third-party images or diagrams. Even if an image is properly attributed to the third-party, additional steps are often required to ensure that an image can be included in a work that is to be licensed through CURF.

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