Licensing Intellectual Property

There are generally two routes in licensing intellectual property (IP):

  • Licensing IP to an existing, established company in which the IP complements their business
  • Licensing IP to a new start-up company in which the IP is key to the company’s development

If the decision is made to commercialise the invention via licensing to an existing company or a new start-up company the Technology Transfer team will prepare a non-confidential summary of the invention in consultation with you.

This summary will outline the key features of the invention and advantages over existing technologies. This will then be sent to potential licensees. Sometimes you may be able to identify companies which would be interested in the technology.

Any revenues received by NovaUCD arising from the licence agreement will be shared with you in accordance with UCD’s Intellectual Property Policy and Procedures.

Licensing to Existing Companies

If an existing established company expresses interest then the Technology Transfer team will conclude a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) between the company and UCD so further confidential details can be shared relating to the invention.

This will enable the company to more fully evaluate the opportunity. If the marketing efforts are successful, the ultimate goal is to license your invention either on a non-exclusive or exclusive basis to the company in its area of commercial interest.

Negotiations can take several weeks to several months depending on the complexities and/or the due diligence required. Depending on the nature of the IP negotiation terms may include:

  • Upfront payments (especially if any modifications are required)
  • Annual payments
  • Fixed payments on milestones
  • Royalties (with minimum payments)

In addition to the financial terms other factors such as the duration of the agreement, the territories to be covered by the licence agreement have to be agreed.

Licensing to a New Start-up Company

If the IP is to be licensed to a new start-up company then the Technology Transfer team will put in place a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) between the start-up company and UCD. In the case of the start-up company the IP can be key to the company development.

Similar negotiations will take place with the start-up company as when licensing to an existing company but there are a few differences. Firstly, in order to assist the company in being successful UCD will not insist on payments until company is cash positive. In addition, performance milestones will be set in order to prevent the IP from being 'locked up' in case the company fails.

For further information or assistance contact a member of the Technology Transfer team.