Technology transfer involves more than a license to a patent; it means moving the technology from the inventor’s laboratory into the licensee’s laboratory. This "hands-on" process involves the conveyance of know-how and technical ability more than a written description of experimental results. The inventor must be actively involved in all stages of the process, from working with patent attorneys to assessing prospective licensing candidates. In the early stages, the inventor must be able to build solid working relationships with scientists or technologists at the prospective licensee and maintain them over the early stages of company involvement with transfer.
If no potential licenses are readily apparent but CU Innovations determines that there is commercial potential and decides to pursue patent protection, our team will work with the inventor to draft a non-confidential description of the invention. This abstract-length document will then be posted on the Available Technologies web page and may also be faxed, mailed or emailed to potential licensees. CU Innovations also communicates with various technology listing services that promote university/industry technology transfer.
In many fields, our team has relationships with industry that can lead to licensing discussions. However, studies have shown that most university license agreements originate from a relationship the lead inventor has with industry. Often companies will ask the university to provide them with a low-cost option to license the innovation or a free evaluation license to test the innovation in their laboratories before committing to the full license agreement.
The role of CU Innovations is to facilitate licensing transactions. Our team stays abreast of evolving practices in licensing through conferences, trainings and personal networks, and the team successfully completes a high volume of agreements every year. Each step in the licensing process is critical and follows a timeline that depends on many factors, some dependent on the inventor, some on the licensing office, and some on the commercial partner. Our highly skilled professionals are adept at understanding the interests and motivations of the investigators and the industry partners and creating a win-win relationship to translate an innovation to a product or service.