Anyone who has ever tried to negotiate an agreement with a University tech transfer office knows that it can be more than a little challenging. The perception I often have is that they are very very much over-valuing a technology that is no where near commercialization and want top dollar without appropriate commeasurate assumption of risk.
Then too, due to their sources of funding, ex. Federal or State funds, there can be significant disclosure issues with regard to say publishing that may be required to further throw sand in the works. Negotiations around these terms can seem endless and life seems to repeat itself over and over in each new tech transfer situation like a perverse rerun of "Groundhog's Day".
That's where I was excited to see this article about The University of North Carolina's (one of my Alma Maters) attempt at putting together a universal, express licensing agreement! What a concept! Go TarHeels!
“Where we hope to gain is that if we get a lot of companies started, more of them will be successful and have more products on the market, so we’ll be more successful,” said Cathy Innes, director of the Office of Technology Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.. “This university has been very consistent in its messaging [that] we’re not just trying to maximize cash. We need to get more things in the pipeline.”
Oh, shouldn't it be the case that we're all similarly motivated to move into the pipeline and drive a commercial success. Afterall, If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well. It were done quickly!
Posted by Bruce Lehr September 21st 2010.