Patent licences come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
To transfer intellectual property rights from a defence laboratory to a firm, there are three types of licence agreements.
An exclusive patent license means that the intellectual property rights cannot be used by anyone other than the named licensee. An exclusive license, under federal law, allows only one licensee to create, use, or sell an invention for commercial purposes during the patent’s lifetime.
Before giving an exclusive licence to a government-owned invention, federal agencies must obtain and examine an applicant’s plans for commercialising the invention, often known as the commercialization plan.
In addition, the federal agency must publish notice of its intent to grant the exclusive licence, naming the innovation and prospective licensee, and giving the public at least 15 days to raise written objections.
A non-exclusive licence allows the licensee to utilise the intellectual property, but the government retains the ability to award the same rights to any number of other licensees to create, use, or sell the technology.
A partially exclusive licence agreement restricts a licensee’s exclusivity to a specific field of use, geographic territory, or time period.
A partially exclusive patent licence agreement, for example, would let a corporation to use an innovation to make medical products but not for telecommunications.
Laboratory can award many licenses for the same intellectual property using partially exclusive licensing. All partially exclusive licenses must be advertised in the Federal Register for a period of 15 days, just as fully exclusive licenses.
An exclusive licence necessitates a more comprehensive commercialization strategy that both justifies exclusivity and meets government regulations.
Although an applicant for a non-exclusive licence must provide a well-developed commercialization plan, the standards are less strict than those for an exclusive licence.
The government’s personnel (Office of Research and Technology Applications) must review and confirm that the specifics of an exclusive license application’s commercialization plan are sufficient to support issuing an exclusive license.
The government’s examination could take a long time and include repeated requests for further information from the applicant, lengthening the time it takes to get a licence. When a company chooses to employ TechLink’s no-cost assistance in preparing a licencing application, this is rarely the case.
Reduced restrictions for a non-exclusive licensee’s commercialization strategy may allow the government’s personnel to assess and propose approval more quickly.
An exclusive licence confers a large number of rights, and the financial parameters of the license–execution fee, royalty rates, maintenance & yearly minimum royalty costs, milestone payments–are frequently expected to reflect this exclusivity.
A non-exclusive licence will often cost the licensee less to secure and retain due to the licensee’s willingness to accept possible competitors.
The public notice requirements for issuing an exclusive licence, such as a notice in the Government Register or another publication (TechLink publishes these notices for many federal labs and agencies), can provide insight into a potential licensee’s business strategy and market goals.
A company that applies for a non-exclusive licence, on the other hand, can cooperate with the Department of Defense to keep the licencing agreement quiet, protecting the licensee’s business plan from possible competitors.
A licensee may be able to finish development and be the first to enter and dominate the market, as well as establish a de facto exclusivity for the product or service, if the licensee is allowed to proceed without publicity.
TechLink’s skilled staff of qualified licencing professionals is ready to assist your company in navigating patent licence agreements with federal laboratories as the Department of Defense’s national partnership intermediary.
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