The Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at UT Austin is a bridge between the research community at the University and commercialization partners, ensuring smooth and fast transfer of intellectual property created at the University. OTC evaluates, markets and licenses technology owned by UT Austin and serves three distinct groups:
The University of Texas at Austin collaborates with industry partners to commercialize intellectual property and other technologies developed by University researchers. These partners include entrepreneurs, angel investors, technology incubators, venture capital firms, large enterprises, and others within the commercialization ecosystem. Research at The University of Texas at Austin generates over 150 new technologies each year, providing abundant and diverse opportunities for industry partners to find new venture opportunities as well as solutions for various product development needs. These become available on an ongoing basis and are presented to the public via a searchable database of available technologies.
If a potential partner has a specific need not addressed by the current offerings, OTC may be able to find the technology under development in a lab or facilitate a collaborative research initiative.
After finding a technology you are interested in pursuing, you are ready to contact the OTC to start the commercialization process. The first step in interacting with our office is signing a non-disclosure agreement, which guarantees that the transfer of intellectual property between the two parties is confidential. NDAs are available in the Forms for Industry section of this website.
After an NDA is signed, OTC will negotiate a deal that is a win-win for all parties involved. Compensation can take various forms but is usually some combination of a cash fee, patent expense reimbursements, royalties and equity. Other variable licensing terms include exclusivity, fields of use, duration, sublicensing rights and required diligence milestones. Sample term sheets and agreements may be seen in the Forms for Industry section.
OTC has made great strides in streamlining the licensing process and has dramatically reduced the time to execution. OTC uses reasonable template agreements, which, if used in their entirety, leave only the business terms such as compensation up for discussion. If the commercialization partner is unable to accept certain legal terms or language in the OTC template agreement, a more extensive legal review process is required and execution of a final agreement will take longer.
If the invention is a software application, then there is a completely different licensing process. OTC currently uses four different software license agreements, detailed in the Software Licensing and Copyrights section of the website.
No. OTC grants licenses to practice, manufacture, sell or otherwise use certain intellectual property. OTC will not assign a patent or otherwise sell intellectual property.
It can take less than one week to negotiate terms and execute an agreement, but more commonly the process takes a couple of months. OTC has reasonable template agreements which, if used in their entirety, leave only the business terms such as compensation up for discussion. If a partner is unable to accept certain terms or language in the OTC template, a more extensive legal review process is required. The length of the negotiation depends upon the number of iterations.
Financial terms vary for each deal. University compensation can take on various forms but is usually some combination of a cash fee, patent expense reimbursements, royalties and equity. OTC designs these compensation schedules in collaboration with the commercialization partner. They reflect the anticipated commercialization plan and avoid unduly burdens on licensees while providing fair compensation back to the University.
Yes. The University frequently receives an equity stake in a new ventures licensing University technology. While almost any type of ownership stake is acceptable, the University will expect a reasonable exit opportunity.
If the intellectual property was developed by an employee of UT Austin or invented at UT Austin facilities under the supervision of UT Austin personnel, the intellectual property is owned by The Board of Regents of The University of Texas (see Regents' Rules). Each inventor must assign his or her rights in the intellectual property to the Board.
The University of Texas at Austin gratefully accepts patent and other IP donations which further the research objectives and the mission of The University. For each gift, a plan is submitted for approval by The Office of The Vice President for Research. The plan includes information concerning the intended use of the IP and the benefiting research effort. OTC champions the creation of the plan and facilitates these transactions.
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