Licensing Technologies

Michigan Tech has a number of technologies developed that are available for licensing, for sale, and for supporting collaborations with private industry.

Technologies licensed by Michigan Tech cover a range from gene sequencing software to wood product manufacturing to fly ash beneficiation. Disclosures are received from inventors in every discipline and are representative of the depth and breadth of Michigan Tech's research enterprise.

Typical university research inventions fall into the early stage category and Michigan Tech offers a variety of license strategies to address the risks in adopting new technology. Michigan Tech’s research inventions range from incremental improvements to existing products or processes to platform technologies that spawn new industries. Each situation is unique and license strategies are tailored to each opportunity to maximize both university and partner benefits. Historically, the most common type of commercialization strategy involved a patent and license model; however Michigan Tech has internal and community resources available to help support start-up companies based on research discoveries. 

Some common examples of licensing strategies that Michigan Tech has used are: 

Option – Most often used to secure rights to a technology for a limited time frame. Options typically grant exclusive rights for a limited time frame to allow industry partners a chance to evaluate the technology or intellectual property position in exchange for a fee or patent cost reimbursements. 

Exclusive License – Allows access to technology by a sole licensee. This provides exclusive rights, most often to a patented technology, in exchange for a royalty stream, and may allow sublicense rights. Terms often include a royalty on gross sales and depending on the stage of development, may include an annual minimum royalty. Reimbursement of patent costs are often factored into the agreement, particularly with foreign patents. 

Non-Exclusive License - Allows non-exclusive access to the technology by numerous industry partners. Typically requires an annual minimum payment and a lower relative royalty as compared to exclusive licenses. Both patented technologies and copyrighted software fit this model well. 

Startup License – Typically has some fund raising milestones, a sound business plan, and minimums/royalty payments once the market and technology has been sufficiently developed. 

These are a few of the more common strategies for securing rights to Michigan Tech’s inventions, however there are unique situations that will require creative hybrid or non-traditional license structures such as know-how licensing. Each technology commercialization path has unique challenges that require solid relationships to efficiently work through any development barriers. Michigan Tech has a long and successful history of working closely with industry partners to transfer technology from the lab into the marketplace.

Find available technologies with TechFinder, the searchable database providing summaries of technologies available for license from Michigan Tech, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University and Oakland University.

To learn more about practical applications and advantages of licensing our technologies contact Jim Baker at jrbaker@mtu.edu or 906-487-2228 for more information about technologies available and terms for licensing.