As Fuentek celebrates our 15th year in business and the 8th year of this blog, we are excited to continue offering up strategic and tactical recommendations for technology management and commercialization. Today is no exception.
Providing our services to dozens of technology transfer offices (TTOs) and other innovation-based organizations has given us unique insight into how TTOs can improve their operations for more efficient commercialization of intellectual property (IP). And because we heard from so many TTOs that our Road to Tech Transfer was a valuable tool for communicating with key stakeholders, we thought a new infographic would serve as a useful starting point for sharing our insights for efficient and effective TTO operations.
Thinking of the technologies in the IP portfolio as plants, we created the Cultivate Your IP infographic to illustrate TTO best practices for:
- Channeling your efforts/resources into the seedlings that are poised to thrive and
- Providing the timely care that allows them to flourish and achieve commercialization success
The Cultivate Your IP infographic lays out not only which activities enable TTOs to successfully manage their innovations but also when those activities should occur in order to maximize overall success in commercializing your IP.
First things first:
- Invention Disclosures: As (or before) invention disclosures come in, cultivate positive relationships with researchers and educate them about the commercialization process and their obligations/benefits. This, in turn, boosts disclosure rate and quality.
Once the disclosure has been received but before investing in IP protection, there are two key steps:
- Technology Triage: Look for any “red flags” that are likely to preclude commercialization, ensuring that you invest further resources only in innovations that have the potential to be commercialized.
- Technology Screening: For technologies that make it through triage, systematically examine whether a technology is fit for pursuing commercialization.
If the decision is then made to invest in IP protection (e.g., provisional or non-provisional patent application), then it is time for:
Avoid Deadline-Driven Decisions: Make IP protection investment decisions (e.g., converting to a non-provisional patent, nationalizing a PCT) a trigger for next steps to prevent last-minute panic in the face of looming deadlines.
- Marketing Preparation: Use a targeted, market-focused strategy based on industry feedback and competitive intelligence to ramp up for marketing.
- Marketing: Implement the marketing plan and monitor its progress, making adjustments as needed.
- Deal-Making: Solicit, vet, and negotiate offers to secure a win-win licensing or partnership agreement.
Finally, after the deal is signed, the focus turns to:
- Relationship Building: Look for opportunities to develop the relationship with the licensee beyond the transaction at hand. For instance, drive successful commercialization through researcher consultation with the licensee/partner where helpful. Also, cultivate opportunities to expand licensing and collaborative/sponsored research.
- Revenue Management: Collect and distribute royalties as well as ensure the licensee is complying with the terms of the agreement.
Fuentek has consistently found that — by doing the right thing at the right time — the TTO is more efficient with its resources, increases its licensing success rate, and improves researcher/faculty involvement.
As you can see by the links in this post, we’ve blogged a lot about cultivating your IP. We also have extensive experience implementing these best practices, helping TTOs enhance their operations. To learn more about how Fuentek can support your TTO in these activities, contact us today.