How does technology commercialization relate to research? 

Technology commercialization is the translation of research findings to practical use, for the benefit of all Texans and Americans.  Research is funded by taxpayers of the United States of America, the State of Texas and other institutions in part to grow our economy, create jobs and help improve our quality of life, culture and society. 
More information can be found in The Better World Report, The Positive Impact of Academic Innovations on Quality of Life



What federal and state laws and university policy govern technology commercialization?

Our founding fathers deemed intellectual property rights so vitally important to the success and stability of our new country that these rights were written into the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 8.  As James Madison stated in Federalist Paper No. 43, the usefulness of the Congresses power to award both patents and copyrights “will scarcely be questioned.”  Madison, Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, at 512-13 (Hunt and Scott ed. 1920).
Enacted on December 12, 1980, the Bayh-Dole Act created a uniform patent policy among the many federal agencies that fund research, enabling small businesses and non-profit organizations, including universities, to retain title to inventions made under federally-funded research programs.  In 2002, the Economist Technology Quarterly described the Act as “Probably the most inspired piece of legislation to be enacted in America over the past half-century was the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980… More than anything, this single policy measure helped reverse America’s precipitous slide into industrial irrelevance…” For more information, please visit this link.

On a state level, more information can be found here.

Since the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act, the University of Texas Board of Regents adopted Regents Rules to align with the federal statute.  More information can be found here.



How do I understand “return” from research and commercialization?


There are two areas of return from research and commercialization: Financial and Developmental

  • Financial
    • Research cost recovery (Paid to U.T. by Sponsor to cover research expenses)
    • Royalty revenue (Paid to U.T. by License as an incentive to develop and protect intellectual property)
    • Equity monetization (Paid to U.T. by Acquiring Institution in exchange for U.T. equity as incentive for economic development)
  • Developmental
    • Student experiential learning
    • Patient quality of life
    • Alumni jobs and growth
    • Community corporate base, tax base and jobs
    • Societal improvements including world health, energy sustainability, defense and national security, communications and other areas

How do I disclose an invention?

As soon as you believe you have a potentially patentable invention, please notify the technology transfer contact office at your institution.     

Staff at your institution’s technology transfer will provide you with notice of receipt of your invention disclosure. Your institution will review your disclosure further. 

Please be sure to indicate whether or not there are any publications or manuscripts in process.  If there are, then make sure to ask your technology transfer office for expedited review prior to publication. 

Please make sure to work with your technology transfer office on any communications with industry so that information regarding an invention helps build the asset base.  Your local technology transfer contact office can also assist you with information on such confidentiality arrangements.
Staff at the technology transfer office will then evaluate the invention for patentability, inventorship, potential for patent coverage, and other activities.  If your invention is deemed both patentable and marketable, then they may consider investing in your invention to further its development. 
Don’t worry about whether or not your invention is worth disclosing.  Our motto is “there are no bad technologies, only good technologies not disclosed”. 


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