Category Archives: Stories From the Field

Advice for Heightening Inventors’ IP Awareness

Collage of intellectual property terminologyNot too long ago, a Forbes post from UCLA’s John Villasenor entitled “Intellectual Property Awareness at Universities: Why Ignorance Is Not Bliss” caught my eye. It discussed the importance of teaching the next generation of engineers, scientists, and innovators “what IP is and why it matters.” Having conducted an informal survey of engineering grad students, Villasensor discovered that their understanding of IP was woefully lacking. He rightfully raised the question:… Continue reading

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Be Ready to Engage Prospects: Advice and a Tech Transfer Webcast

Like the Boy Scout mantra, there is no substitute for being prepared. Before you reach out to marketing prospects – or even place information about a technology on your Web site – be sure you have the resources to respond quickly. (Hint: If you’re going to be traveling, don’t begin a big email push just before you depart.) If someone makes an effort to inquire about a technology, the best time to hook that prospect is… Continue reading

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Leveraging Industry Associations to Attract Tech Transfer and Strategic Partnerships

At Fuentek, we enjoy working collaboratively with our clients to implement innovative outreach strategies. In October 2011, Fuentek had the privilege of helping a forward-thinking team at NASA’s Glenn Research Center — led by Dr. Paul Bartolotta — to organize an Automotive Workshop. Although Glenn had dozens of technologies that would be of enormous interest to automotive companies, they did not routinely interact with major players in the auto industry. And they didn’t want to push out all of their potentially relevant technologies to see which might catch the attention of auto industry executives. Instead, Glenn wanted to… Continue reading

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Focus on Market Potential to Prioritize Active Projects: Stories from the Field

Stories From The FieldWe’ve blogged often about how planning for technology marketing helps TTOs be more proactive and efficient in selecting innovations to market. If your TTO is like most, you have more active marketing projects than you have the resources to handle. Therefore, prioritizing (and reprioritizing) your projects is the key to developing a strategic and agile marketing process that will provide long-term value. In today’s Stories from the Field post, I share details of how to apply what we’ve learned through years of identifying high-priority projects. Continue reading

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Patent Mapping Tools: Sometimes a Picture Is Worth a Couple Hundred Words

Last week, a tech transfer professional at a university asked me which patent analysis tools Fuentek uses in our market-based technology assessments. Our conversation then evolved into a discussion about how we use patent mapping as well as the value patent maps provide in evaluating a technology’s commercial potential. I’d like to share with you the perspective that I shared with him. Let me begin by being crystal clear: I firmly believe that analysis tools providing visual maps of the patent landscape play a useful role in… Continue reading

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Communicating the Value of Tech Transfer: An Example from NASA

NASA FlyerAlthough we’ve been blogging a lot lately about effective technology marketing strategies (especially given our new webinar on this topic), there’s another kind of marketing that we at Fuentek believe is essential for technology transfer offices (TTOs). It might feel like bragging, but communicating the results of technology transfer is as important as executing tech transfer deals. Effective communication tools that illustrate your TTO’s positive achievements demonstrate to your internal and external stakeholders both the value of tech transfer and how successful your TTO is in supporting the mission of your institution. We recently completed a project for NASA that illustrates exactly this idea. Continue reading

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Prototyping Licenses: Another Angle on Evaluation Licenses for Technology Transfer

Prototyping-LautDesignA few months ago, the IP Marketing Blog discussed the OpenUlster program at the University of Ulster in Ireland and its evaluation license. It caught my attention for its efforts to streamline licensing and help mitigate the risks that potential licensees may feel when contemplating a new technology. Here’s how the blogger described it: ‘To take out an evaluation license, which costs just one Pound, the visitor just clicks on the link to download the documents, fill out two forms and return them both to Ulster. “When the license is countersigned by one of our commercialization team, the firm has exclusivity to evaluate that technology,” says [technology commercialization manager Dr. John] MacRae… At the end of the evaluation period… the evaluation license can be converted into a full commercial license.”’ Continue reading

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Great Tech Transfer Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Stories from the Field

While everyone likes a sprint, the reality is that tech transfer with the greatest impact usually is a marathon. Negotiating effective tech transfer agreements can seem as arduous, and there are so many steps along the path where you can … Continue reading

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Managing Innovator-Prospect Interactions: Stories from the Field

Innovators can often be a huge asset when you are in discussions with a potential licensee. After all, they bring more knowledge and expertise about the invention to the table than anyone else. They also often are a good source of information about potential applications and target markets. But as we at Fuentek have learned over many years of experience, one should never underestimate the strength of the connection between the innovator and his or her invention–and how that can help or hinder the commercialization process. Let’s take a look at a specific example. Continue reading

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When You Know the Answer, Stop Asking: Stories from the Field

U turnWhen moving from the screening into the assessment phase of IP management, it’s important to keep an open mind—and open ears—during the market-based assessment. I say “ears” because Fuentek assessments include interviews with industry experts, which provide extremely valuable market information that guides decisions about how, where, and when—or even whether—to begin marketing the technology. Listening carefully to what industry experts have to say about the market’s needs with respect to the technology lets you know which action is most appropriate. And in some cases, this means not merely holding off on marketing but actually stopping the assessment early. Let’s take a look at a real-world example. Continue reading

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