Faculty need to be aware that the Office of Technology Licensing has determined that publication of a dissertation qualifies as a public disclosure for purposes of patent filings. This is true for both print and electronic dissertations, and is true even when a dissertation is embargoed so that access is limited to the Stanford community. It is critical that faculty and doctoral candidates work together well in advance of the candidate's dissertation filing to ensure that timing concerns regarding data publication are resolved.
Students, similarly, need to be aware that their dissertation is a publication; they should work with their advisors to ensure that they manage embargos so as not to inappropriately republish material, or publish material that is intended for later publication.
More information on dissertation copyright issues are outlined in this presentation that all dissertation candidates are required to review.