Texas Tech University

New Licensing Agreement Available to Faculty, Students

A new type of licensing agreement is now available to faculty members and students at Texas Tech University to make it easier to spin lab discoveries into new startup companies.

Unlike the typical license agreement, which includes various upfront costs for the company founder, the new Validation License is a fast and easy way for an entrepreneur to obtain patent rights for a Texas Tech invention with no upfront payment or the need to negotiate license terms.

Developed by the Texas Tech Office of Research Commercialization (ORC), the Validation License is intended for university entrepreneurs who wish to participate in a federally funded proof of concept program, such as the NSF's I-Corp program or the federal SBIR/STTR programs. The new license allows an entrepreneur to reserve patent rights while completing due diligence to better understand the market fit for a technology or to apply for federal funding to support early proof of concept work.

The new program offers entrepreneurs a no-cost, six month validation license, with an option to convert it into an exclusive license agreement for the patent rights at the end of the term. After six months, if the entrepreneur has formed a company and submitted a business plan, the company can pay a $1,000 fee to trigger a 90 day option period, during which time the ORC and the company will negotiate fair and reasonable terms of an exclusive license agreement. During the term of the validation license and the option period, the ORC will pay all patent expenses.

"We believe that the new Validation License will make the commercialization process easier for teams that want to lock down access to the patent rights while they validate the technology and complete their proof of concept work," said David Snow, senior managing director of the Office of Research Commercialization. "The Validation License gives I-Corps teams the legal control they need over the patent rights, while they invest their time and money to make a go or no-go decision about commercializing the technology. We hope this new program encourages more Texas Tech teams to participate in the I-Corps program."

The specific terms and conditions of the validation license are provided on the ORC website. For additional information, contact the Office of Research Commercialization.