1. Does Lehigh own the rights to the invention? In many cases, the invention may be a joint effort between several universities or between Lehigh and another organization. In cases where the invention was a result of a joint effort between faculty from different universities or organizations, it is important to determine if Lehigh has the rights to apply for a utility patent. If Lehigh does not have the rights, the invention must be returned back to the inventor.
2. If Lehigh has rights to the invention, it is also important to determine if the invention meeets the three basic criterions for patentability: novelty, non-obviousness, and utility. If any of the criteria is not fulfilled, the invention must be returned back to the inventor, as the invention can not be patented.
3. OTT will determine the stage of the invention. If the invention is at a conceptual stage, OTT will wait until the invention is ready to be utilized in the market and then proceed with the application process.
4. OTT will also determine if the invention was funded by a government agency. In cases where the funds were received from a government agency, it is mandatory to report the invention to the agency through iEdison.