The EIR review process aims to ensure that a well-formed decision on patent filing can be made on any submitted EIR. TTC will schedule an EIR for review by the NCI Technology Review Group (TRG). The TRG is made up of fellow NCI scientists who will evaluate the EIR in light of the PHS Patent Policy. It is the job of the TRG to review the EIR and make a recommendation to NCI inventor’s Division Director as to whether or not a patent application should be filed. The EIR will be forwarded to TRG members who have the appropriate scientific expertise to evaluate the discovery. At least two TRG reviewers will thoroughly review any EIR. The TRG reviewers will present their assessment and recommendations about the invention at the monthly TRG meeting. NCI inventors will be informed by TTC of the TRG’s recommendation and will be asked to comment on it before it goes to their Division Director.
It is Division Director’s responsibility to decide if a patent application for the reported invention will be filed. The decision is based upon the recommendation from the TRG. Should Division Director agree to file a patent application, the TTC sends the EIR to a contract law firm for patent application preparation and filing with USPTO. NCI inventors will work closely with the patent attorney at the contract law firm on the preparation of the patent application.
The EIR review process, from submission of the EIR form to the filing of the patent application, takes approximately 3 months. Inventors can help expedite the process by submitting the completed EIR to the TTC as soon as possible. The TTC staff member assigned to NCI inventor’s laboratory will be the contact person for assisting the inventor throughout the review process.