FIGURE 4-13 Patterns of university licensing of DNA inventions by company type.

SOURCE: Pressman et al., 2005.

  • Qualitative responses from the universities suggest that the utility and development potential associated with a technology have an important influence on both patenting and licensing behavior. When known utility and the presumed potential for commercial development are low, universities are less inclined to patent, and when they do, licensing tends to be nonexclusive. On the other hand, when utility and presumed commercial potential are both high, universities are inclined not only to patent but also to license exclusively.

  • Most exclusive licenses contain nonfinancial due-diligence requirements, as do about 45 percent of nonexclusive licenses. These are requirements to report progress in further development of the technology and steps in commercialization. Among the 62 responding universities, 78 percent said that they had terminated research because of due-diligence problems.

  • Most institutions report reserving rights to use a patented technology for their own investigators even though it is licensed exclusively to a commercial entity. An increasingly common university practice in recent years is to reserve such rights for investigators at other nonprofit institutions, but this is often subject to the patent holder’s case-by-case approval.

In short, interview respondents reported practices broadly consistent with the NIH Research Tool guidelines issued in 1998 and with the Guidelines for Licensing of Genomic Inventions, which were in draft form and published for comment

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