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Patent Issues

If your dissertation work could lead to your seeking a patent for a new invention or discovery, you may want to "embargo" (or delay) the public release of your dissertation for a specified period in order to give yourself time to file a patent.

During the initial steps of uploading your thesis or dissertation, you will be given an opportunity to select one of three embargo periods supported by ProQuest: 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years. Once you make your invention or discovery public, you may lose your opportunity for a patent in the United States if you do not apply for a patent within a year.

If you develop a patentable invention with University funds, including graduate student support or facilities, you also have a responsibility to disclose the invention to the University Office of the Vice President for Research. They can provide you with GW’s “Policy on Patents and Scholarly Works” and an invention disclosure form. More information on patents and copyright policy is available on the following websites:

GW Patent Policy - links to GW's Policy page including statements on GW Patents and Scholarly Work Policy.

General Information on patents can be found at United States Patent and Trademark Office.