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Information for Inventors

1.  Protect Your Rights.  If you have not taken any steps to seek patent protection for your invention, your legal interests could be affected by your disclosure of information to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  In addition, since your idea involves a potentially patentable invention that could constitute important business information, the Corps would like to protect you from inadvertent or mandated release of this information to the public in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.  

If you intend to file a patent application on your invention, we recommend that you seek the advice of a patent attorney or agent prior to disclosing your materials to the Corps or others, or offering your invention for sale, as such actions could prevent you from obtaining a patent under certain circumstances.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at http://www.uspto.gov/ has important information for inventors regarding available resources and legal requirements for obtaining patents.


2.  Submission Instructions.   Please do not submit information on commercial products (examples could include advertisements, sales literature or price lists).  If you are selling a product, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website at http://www.usace.army.mil/ has important information for vendors on doing business with us.

These instructions are intended for you to provide information on your invention (examples could include technical papers, process flow charts, engineering drawings or photographs) for the purpose of evaluation.  Please mark your materials as proprietary or confidential business information, not to be disclosed outside the U.S. Government without written permission of the author.  Be aware that the Corps may be required to disclose your materials under the Freedom of Information Act.

Please provide a transmittal letter describing the proprietary information and the reason why you consider it to be proprietary, for example, private business or financial information.  Please state in detail your purpose for submitting the information to the Corps, such as to engage in a cooperative research and development agreement.  Please address your correspondence to:

 Department of the Army
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Attention: CERD-ZB
441 G Street, NW
Washington, DC  20314-1000


3.  Evaluation.   Your submittal package will be checked for compliance with the instructions stated in paragraph 2.  Non-compliance will result in the prompt return of your materials without evaluation.  Please recognize that information describing unpatented inventions will be restricted to non-technical personnel to avoid potential conflicts with ongoing research and development activities that may involve the same or similar inventions.  If these personnel see a need for more information or an opportunity for joint development of your invention, the Corps will contact you and advise you regarding legal protections for your interests and ours.   For the widest dissemination of your information in the Corps, only information on patented inventions should be submitted.