Credit: Bin Zhang
A license agreement is a contract between an intellectual property rights owner ("licensor") and another party ("licensee"), who is allowed to use some or the IP rights in exchange for payment (a fee or royalty).
Caltech licenses its IP to established companies, startups, or individuals who are interested in launching a company around the technology. (See more about establishing a startup.) Licensees are selected based on their ability to commercialize their technology, and Caltech will use license terms to reflect each individual situation.
Caltech researchers have a key role to play in the licensing process. In addition to being the source of the IP generated, they also give their assessment of the commercial potential of the technology and provide input on potential licensees. Potential licensees also may have questions about the technology that are best answered by the inventors; without the researchers' involvement, it can be difficult to negotiate a well-designed license agreement.
OTTCP will notify faculty inventors when a party contacts us with an interest in licensing their inventions, and researchers should contact OTTCP with inquiries from outside parties regarding licensing.