CAHNRS Innovation

Intellectual Property Portfolio

$8.7 Million In gross royalties for FY 2023
76 Percent Percent of total royalties collected by WSU in FY 2023
Top royalty producers
  • Cougar Gold Cheese
  • US Plant Patent for WA 38 and the Trademark COSMIC CRISP
  • 20+ Licensed Wheat Varieties
  • Microwave Sterilization and Pasteurization Technology

An invention may consist of new plants, new biological material, new machines, new compositions, or new methods.

Protecting new inventions takes time, effort, and money. The first step in this process is filing a WSU Invention Disclosure. Points to consider before filing a WSU Invention Disclosure include the following:

  • Stage of Development, Development Cost and Time: Innovations early in development may need significant resources to reach a commercially viable and valuable point.
  • Patentability: Inventions are assessed based on novelty, non-obviousness and usefulness.
  • Impact: Whether the technology is groundbreaking or game-changing, and its adaptability.
  • Market Breadth and Size: Whether a technology is appropriate for niche/small markets or widely useful.

The process of protecting an invention has many steps and does take some time to complete. The earlier you submit your invention disclosure, the faster our office can make a determination and begin the assessment process.

Intellectual Property at WSU

Intellectual property (“IP”) describes certain rights in creative works, inventions, and useful discoveries. IP practically takes the form of patents, copyrights, and trademarks. The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at WSU uses IP to protect innovations developed at WSU and to disseminate commercially relevant knowledge from academia to industry.

IP exists to protect expressions of knowledge and to allow the creator to safely share expressions of knowledge. Whether that expression is an oil painting, a chemical compound, or a complex machine, knowledge from these expressions provides a basis for future ideas. Creating IP is one way WSU distributes the knowledge created here to improve society as a whole. The value of IP was identified long before the foundation of WSU. In forming the United States, the Founding Fathers recognized that creative works and inventions contribute to the overall advancement of society by providing both social and economic benefits. While many Constitutional draft provisions were highly contested amongst the Founding Fathers, the IP provisions put forth by James Madison and Charles Pinckney were undisputed. And so, Congress was given the power…

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

U.S. CONST. Art I., Section 8, CI. 8.

This clause remains the basis of U.S. patent, copyright, and trademark laws that protect IP.

A brief explanation of each type of intellectual property and exclusive rights

Last Updated 9/27/2023