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IP Advocate is dedicated to equipping the academic research community with critical information about technology transfer and commercialization of intellectual property.

University researchers create more than cutting-edge cures and therapies in their laboratories. They create a better world for all of us - every day.

In the knowledge economy of today, university research is the fountainhead of innovation. The connection between the university, researcher and technology transfer office is the heartbeat that keeps research alive and thriving. For this reason, IP Advocate has established as one of its goals to encourage mutually beneficial relationships between institutions of higher learning and their researchers.

Technology transfer offices carry out the Intellectual Property policies of the university in terms of licensing and commercialization efforts. During the technology transfer process, the university technology transfer office negotiates with the acquirer or corporation. Quite often these entities are armed with a host of attorneys and an excess of cash to leverage for their own benefit. Academic research will continue to thrive along with the public's best interests, as long as all parties within this process are treated with parity.

Thus, the technology transfer office of your university should be able to:

  1. Answer questions pertaining to the Intellectual Property policies of your institution
  2. Advise whether or not the results of your research may be considered an invention
  3. Review your university's technology transfer process flow
  4. Discuss your potential rights in ownership of your innovation
  5. Advise when and how you must disclose an invention to their office
  6. Answer other questions about Intellectual Property concerns

Many technology transfer offices are led by individuals who have risen through the ranks of the academic system and who may find it difficult to cope with the challenges of complex negotiations with their savvy corporate counterparts. In contrast, technology licensing offices headed by individuals from the business sector may not have a keen understanding of the academic environments or any empathy for the enduring efforts of the university researcher.

Either way, it is of utmost importance that university technology transfer offices ensure their operations are conducted in a transparent manner. Open and accessible communications and cooperation between the TTO and the researcher is critical in all phases of the process from disclosure through commercialization. The lure of discretionary income or profit seeking priorities should be least among the goals and concerns of the technology transfer office. The relationship between a university and its researchers should take precedence over any outside influences or associations.

IP Advocate encourages all technology transfer offices to require their personnel to abide by formal Standards of Conduct drafted in support of socially responsible and ethical Intellectual Property policies. Not every university has developed a formal Process Flow chart. If your university does not have one, reviewing one of another university may familiarize you with the process “in theory”, but the model charts presented below may differ from your university's process.

IP Advocate encourages you to take advantage of any seminars your university TTO offers. You should also review and understand brochures or documents they have available to researchers and make sure to open the lines of communication with the office prior to your research efforts reaching fruition.

From this section, you can view Process Flow Documents and Standards of Conduct documents from leading best-in-class universities, which outline the necessary procedures and protocols in communication between a university and its researcher.

Selected Process Charts

Duke University

Princeton University

Purdue University

University of Virginia

University of Washington

Selected Standards of Conduct

University of California

University of North Carolina

Global Perspectives

World Bank Program on Knowledge

Advancing Knowledge and the Knowledge Economy

The Information Economy

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