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What We Do


Inventor's Assistance Service

The Inventor's Assistance Service (IAS) is a program sponsored by The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. It offers inventors preliminary patent research; market research; engineering design, modeling and drawing; and prototyping services. Research and development is conducted by professional IAS staff and undergraduate research assistants. 

The IAS Approach

You have decided to submit your application to the Inventor’s Assistance Service. We are excited about the opportunity to assist you with your endeavors. Here is some information about the process in which your application will undergo. Keep in mind, all products and clients are different and therefore, this is just an overview of the steps possible in the process.

  1. Your application will be processed and assigned to a staff member to undergo initial market and preliminary patent research. This information will be compiled into a report that will include competitors that already exist within the market your product attempts to enter.
    Competitors can be direct or indirect, be completely different in design or just satisfy the same need to which your product proposes a solution. There may be a large saturation of competition or a low saturation. Each case is different. 
    The report will also include patents and patent applications that already exist which may act as a hindrance to your product’s development. Patents included may have similar designs, methods or purposes as what your product intends on possessing. Prior art found in patents can create legal issues in producing a product.
  2. Feasibility issues do not happen often, but if present, can pose issues. If upon researching your product it is found that there may be feasibility issues, an engineering student will evaluate the concept and research may be halted to discuss the issues first. Feasibility issues can include the impossibility of production and defying the laws of physics.
  3. Once your product is evaluated for competing products and prior art restrictions, your report will be returned to you and available for discussion. As each client and case is different, needs will be discussed and further steps will be defined at this point.
    The research presented in the report is intended to assist the inventor in understanding the market and in making a decision on whether to move forward with the project. In some cases, a client may find that their product idea is no longer worth pursuing because of prior art issues, previously developed technology or the market of which it will attempt to enter is too saturated with competition.
    In some cases, we may ask that you have this report and potential product evaluated by a patent attorney before we can legally take any action in developing your concept
    In other cases, the product is found to have very few competitors, if any, and does not infringe upon any prior art that is filed. These projects can be moved on to engineering and design assistance with our engineering interns.
    Not all projects are capable of moving on to engineering assistance for a variety of reasons. This entire process is meant to inform the client, assist their needs with as little financial burden as possible and assist in client success, whatever that may be.
  4. If your project moves into engineering, your project will be assigned to an engineering intern for further development. The engineer intern assigned to your project will become your new point of contact. You will be able to work with the intern to discuss further steps needed and create an outcome that most benefits your endeavors.
  5. Although rare, it is possible for projects to go over the 20 hours of engineering work covered by the initial application fee. In the event that your project needs work beyond 20 hours, the project will be moved to a pay-for-service program and a pre-determined number of hours can be completed for additional fees. This step will never be taken without prior discussion with the client.

How to Apply

 Please complete the "Contact Us" form and we will email or mail an IAS application to you!

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