Texas Tech University

The Commercialization Process

The transfer of technology from the research lab to the marketplace is a team enterprise. The commercialization process can be daunting, but the ORC team is here to help you bring your research to the marketplace.

ORC begins the commercialization process when you disclose an invention. Once an invention is disclosed, the ORC meets with the inventor and completes a search for similar technology, patents or licenses.

ORC will then work with the inventor to do technology commercial assessment to determine patentability and marketability. If the assessment is positive, the ORC will initiate intellectual property protection for the technology and develop an appropriate commercialization strategy. ORC will work with the investor to ensure that the patent applications are complete and accurate.

Depending on the type of technology and its stage of development, ORC will work with the inventor and local entrepreneurs to create a start-up company, or may license the technology directly to an established company. Either scenario will result in a license agreement between the ORC and the new or established business partner. The license agreement will include terms and conditions for the use of the technology, commercial development milestones, and the amount of compensation to the university (and inventor) in fees, royalty and equity. Inventors can help in this process by letting ORC know about new developments, upcoming publications or presentations about your invention or industry interactions related to your technology.

After a license agreement is in place, ORC monitors and supports the licensee to ensure compliance with contract terms and success in the marketplace.

The commercialization process at a glance:

Innovation Cycle

 

Research

Research and development work, whether funded by the federal government, foundations or industry, is the basis for discovering and developing novel technologies and software.

Invention Disclosure

When you believe you have discovered a novel technology or developed a useful new computer software, please submit a description of the technology to the Office of Research Commercialization using the New Technology Disclosure form. For additional information about disclosure, please visit our Disclosure page.

IMPORTANT NOTE

 

  • Submission to the Office of Research Commercialization should occur no less than one month prior to any public disclosure.
  • Submission to the Office of Research Commercialization does NOT confer protection of the technology.

 

Assessment

When your disclosure to the Office of Research Commercialization is complete, we will make an initial assessment to determine your protection needs and commercialization opportunities. We will work with you during this process.

Time: In most cases, up to 60 days to complete.

Assessment Factors:

  • Ownership
  • Types of protection
  • Market-related factors

Intellectual Property

Depending on the results of the review process, the Office of Research Commercialization will determine whether to:

  • File for a patent, copyright or trademark
  • Hold the work pending additional development
  • Control distribution of the material or reagent in the absence of formal protection
  • Close the file

Time: Depending on the type of protection, up to several years (and may cost tens of thousands of dollars)

 

Marketing

We achieve greater success in marketing and promoting technologies within the university's intellectual property portfolio by working together. Many times our most successful leads come from the inventor's industry contacts who serve as internal champions within their own companies and organizations.

Time: 1 month to several years

Licensing

In cases where multiple companies are interested in the technology, the Office of Research Commercialization will identify the most appropriate licensing partner(s). We consider a potential partner's overall ability to:

  • Commercialize the technology
  • Obtain or provide funding to support development of the technology
  • Benefit the local economy

Other factors include prior and ongoing relationships with the potential partner(s), your willingness and ability to work with the potential partner(s), and the ability of the partner(s) to accept license terms required by Texas Tech University.

Though it is always the Office of Research Commercialization 's preference to work with established companies, there are cases where creation of a new business start-up may be the best or only option for near-term commercialization activities. In such cases, the Office of Research Commercialization may assist in planning and creating the start-up.

Commercialization

Commercialization is the process of introducing a new product or production method into commerce—making it available on the market. The term includes a move from the laboratory into (even limited) commerce. The product launch of a new product is the final stage of new product development - at this point advertising, sales promotion, and other marketing efforts encourage commercial adoption of the product or method.

Revenue Generation

Revenues generated from the licensing and commercialization of Texas Tech University technologies are paid back to the inventor(s) and university according to the Royalty Distribution Policy. This income further fuels research and development programs at Texas Tech University and may lead to future technologies and software.

Ownership of Inventions

It is required by University Policy, under the Board of Regents, for Faculty, Staff, and Students to disclose any and all intellectual property.

It is important to talk about ownership of intellectual property (IP). According to Texas Tech University System (TTUS) Regents Rule 10, "in general, IP made with the use of Texas Tech facilities during the course of regularly assigned duties of the faculty and staff automatically is owned by TTUS." More information about IP ownership and copyright can be found in Regents' Rule 10.

If your invention is the result of work funded by a federal agency, the university can claim ownership under the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980. If after a technology assessment, the university decides not to apply for ownership, the government may retain ownership. If they do not, ownership rights can be assigned to the inventor.

Inventorship and authorship are two different things. The threshold to determine inventorship is defined as who conceived the invention. Unless a person contributes to the conception of the invention, that person is not an inventor. There must be evidence that those listed as inventors on a patent contributed to conception, and that contribution in corroborated among the inventors. A person that takes an inventors idea and reduces it to practice is NOT an inventor. In academia, this person is a co-author of a publication, but not an inventor. A patent can be invalidated at any time if it is shown that there was willful misrepresentation of contribution. If in doubt, keep in mind that it is much easier to add people to a patent at any time during the process than to remove them!

If you have a concern contact us at (806) 742-4105.

Resources

TTUS Validation License and Option

TTUS License Agreement Template

Regents' Rule 10 defining intellectual property rights 

Operating Policy 74.04 defining intellectual property rights

Invention Disclosure Portal

The America Invents Act
American Intellectual Property Law Association

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Bayh-Dole Act
Association of University Technology Managers

 

We Want to Hear from You!

Questions about the patent process? Interested in partnerships? Looking for specific available technologies at TTU? Send us an email and a member of our staff will reply promptly.

To submit a disclosure, please visit the Disclose an Invention page.

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Office of Research Commercialization