What is Involved in the Licensing Process?
The university owns all intellectual property associated with inventions developed with university support and it is ultimately the university's decision about how and to whom we license an invention. In practice, however, the faculty member will frequently be the best source of information about industrial firms interested in the technology and may have already initiated some interaction. We welcome the inventor's input and will actively engage you in this process should you choose to be involved.
Licenses to university inventions developed with university support will involve one or more of the following features: access to the Invention (which may be exclusive or non-exclusive), a license fee, a royalty on sales, an obligation to support the patenting process, a requirement to exercise due diligence in marketing the invention, and sometimes an obligation to support further research in the inventor's lab.
In recent years it has become possible to involve both the University and the inventors in the formation of small companies, as one means of developing inventions. This frequently results in both the University and the inventor receiving an equity position (stock ownership or a partnership position) in the company. Such events may also generate outside employment and a conflict of interest for the faculty member and trigger the Attachment A procedures of the Outside Employment Policy of the University. The University is generally supportive of this method of developing IP, and this office can assist in the entire process.