How can a student Inventor benefit from transferring ownership to the University?
When the University receives an assignment of ownership from an Inventor, the University can take steps to file for patent protection of the invention, paying all the filing and legal costs of doing so. Initial legal costs can range from $8,000 to $15,000. Total costs can range up to $25,000. The Universities have access to attorneys who specialize in patent law. The University can also provide the services of experienced Technology Licensing Officers who assess the invention for its commercial potential, and seek out businesses, both regionally and nationally, that may buy licenses to use the invention, thus generating income for both the Inventor and the University. The University can take future legal action to ensure no one uses the patented invention without permission and otherwise protects the value of the invention. Patents require payment of annual maintenance fees, which the University will assume. The Technology Licensing Officers monitor all licensing agreements to ensure license fee payments are consistent with agreements and actual product sales or profitability. License agreements signed by the University will typically allow access to examine the licensee’s financial records to ensure the product’s sales and profitability are properly represented to the University and the Inventor.
After assignment, an Inventor can remain an active participant in commercialization efforts, as the Technology Licensing Officers will follow-up on all leads provided by the Inventor. It is possible that the University can secure additional research funds from the licensees under sponsored research agreements.
In summary, an inventor can only realize income from their invention if it is properly protected through the filing and issuance of a patent, and if it is successfully marketed to business. All revenues are shared with the inventors. When the invention is assigned to the University, these services are provided by the University at no cost to the Inventor.