LSU employees are generally free to publish the results of their research in any medium of their choosing and to present papers at any symposium, professional meeting, or other means at any time. To ensure this freedom to publish, research contracts and any other relevant agreements, including confidentiality agreements, material transfer agreements, and licensing agreements, are typically designed to limit publication restrictions imposed on researchers.
Publications, however, may impact intellectual property rights, particularly patent rights. We encourage you to submit your Technology Disclosure to the Office of Intellectual Property, Commercialization & Development well in advance of submission of any publication for a potentially patentable technology. This will allow OIPCD sufficient time to evaluate the disclosure, make a decision to file a patent application, and arrange for outside patent counsel.
For purposes of patent law, a publication may be a published article in a journal, magazine, or newspaper, a presentation at a conference, a thesis or dissertation, distribution of preprints, a posting on the Internet, or a number of other events that tend to disclose knowledge to the public, or at least that portion of the public most likely to appreciate its significance. While not technically a "publication," other events that have a similar effect on patent rights include the sale of an embodiment of an invention, an offer to sell, and the public use of an invention.
Submission of grant proposals to state or federal agencies, and discussions on a one-to-one basis with co-workers or peers may or may not be considered publications, depending on all the circumstances. Once a grant proposal has been approved, its abstract is typically published online. At least the abstract will then be considered a publication from the date it became publicly available. The remainder of the grant proposal may or may not be considered a publication as well. Some funding agencies permit portions of a grant application to be specifically marked as "Confidential."
Traditionally, a dissertation or thesis was considered to be published once it had been catalogued and shelved in a publicly accessible library. Dissertations and theses are now typically submitted and published electronically, rather than on paper. The "publication date" of an electronic dissertation or thesis should generally be treated as the date that it is first made available to the public online. Currently graduate degree candidates are given the option to withhold their electronic dissertation or thesis from publication for a period of time. The Graduate School can provide more information about withholding a dissertation or thesis. Please contact the Office of Intellectual Property, Commercialization & Development for any questions on this matter as it relates to patent rights.