Category Archives: Tech Transfer Basics

Improving Invention Disclosure Quality for Tech Transfer

Becky Stoughton and Kerry Swift discuss what makes a high-quality invention disclosure.What makes an invention disclosure a high-quality invention disclosure? This is an interesting question that has nothing to do with the quality of the technology. Fundamentally, a high-quality disclosure includes enough detail for a patent attorney to identify novel aspects for patentability. It also includes the inventor’s perspective on the technology’s commercialization value. This helps the TTO to better evaluate the invention’s market potential and commercialization options. Unfortunately, many invention disclosure submissions come up short. The possible reasons for this vary. But mostly it seems to boil down to a lack of researcher understanding of the importance and role of the invention disclosure. Continue reading

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Negotiating a License? Consider the Different Faces of Value for Tech Transfer

When thinking about the value of a licensing agreement, it’s easy to focus on the financial terms, such as up-front payments and royalty rates. However, licensing revenue isn’t the only area to negotiate financial terms. And in many cases, non-financial terms can have significant value. Financial terms beyond licensing revenue are pretty straightforward to negotiate. For a university… Continue reading

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Improving Researcher Relations Before, During, and After Invention Disclosure (plus a free webcast)

Invention disclosures are a technology transfer office’s (TTO’s) bread and butter. Therefore, TTO success depends in large part on having a productive relationship with your organization’s researchers. Building a strong foundation with researchers is an ongoing process that happens before, during, and after they file their invention disclosures. Fuentek’s experience has shown that there are three areas where a TTO can focus these efforts… Continue reading

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Use Your AMMO for Tech Transfer Marketing: Kicking Off the “Marketing Mondays” Series

fuentek_ammo_horizontal_basicOne of the top topics at any tech transfer industry meeting is technology marketing. Just a few weeks ago, one of the most popular sessions at the AUTM™ Eastern Region Meeting was on the topic of “guerrilla marketing.” We have blogged a lot about marketing strategies and various marketing tools over the years. And as the tech transfer profession has evolved, we have developed new insights that we would like to share. So we’ve decided to get our readers caught up by offering a systematic treatment of the topic in our new series: Marketing Mondays. We will discuss developing effective collateral, strategically reaching out to prospects, and converting the qualified leads into licensees. Of course, any discussion of technology marketing has to begin with the AMMO, which Fuentek developed years ago and has been applying successfully for our clients ever since. Continue reading

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How to Get the Best Market Feedback for Tech Transfer Licensing

Fuentek VP Becky Stoughton at the Alpha Loft Launch Series event in Manchester, NH.Lots of best practices for technology transfer offices (TTOs) also apply to startups. To leverage that insight, I recently spoke with entrepreneurs in New Hampshire about how to get great feedback from prospective customers when getting a startup off the ground, offering a new product (or service), or breaking into a new market. Similarly, in the tech transfer world, licensing success can be optimized by obtaining robust and comprehensive market feedback through expert interviews. This feedback will inform your strategy for approaching the market as you ramp up to marketing a technology for licensing. For example,… Continue reading

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IP Portfolio Optimization: How Does Your Garden Grow?

PrintI’ve been thinking a lot lately about the similarities between gardening and managing a portfolio of intellectual property (IP). If you have seen our Cultivating Your IP infographic, this comparison isn’t surprising. But the connection is worth considering. Periodically reviewing the IP portfolio is an essential part of tending to the technologies effectively. Today I’m discussing the approach to and process of reviewing the IP portfolio. Prioritize the Backlog: What’s Dead, What’s Ready to Plant? Having worked with dozens of technology transfer offices (TTOs), Fuentek knows it’s easy for invention disclosures to pile up like plants in a greenhouse waiting to be put in the garden. Continue reading

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License Negotiation Forget-Me-Nots for Technology Transfer Offices

StringOnFinger_iStock_000021963522_lowrezThe past few months have seen several of us at Fuentek supporting multiple clients with negotiating licenses for their technologies. One project that I’ve been helping a client with embodies several best practices of license negotiations. Ironically, these concepts are so essential… that they’re sometimes forgotten. So here is a list we’ve put together to ensure that the most important aspects of license negotiations stay front and center. Continue reading

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Ramp Up to Tech Marketing Part 2: A Sound Plan and Licensing Strategy

ramp-up-to-techtransfer-marketingRamping up to successful and cost-effective technology transfer marketing depends not only on a range of proactive research activities but also on thinking through the licensing strategy and a sound marketing plan to help you achieve your goals. The Technology Licensing Strategy A licensing strategy need not be complex or even necessarily written down (although more mature offices may track it as a field in their IP management database). Nevertheless, it is worth taking the time to explicitly think about (1) what your goals are for the technology and (2) what type of licenses and licensees you should seek to meet those goals. Continue reading

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Ramp Up to Tech Marketing Part 1: Proactive Research to Make an Impact

ramp-up-to-techtransfer-marketingOnce the technology transfer office (TTO) knows that a technology is fit for commercialization, it’s time to ramp up for actual marketing. This involves a variety of proactive research and planning activities that are critical for successful and cost-effective marketing. Identify the Target Market Developing a roadmap for successful marketing starts with identifying exactly who your prospective licensees are. The best practice is to start by considering the value chain. Because the value chain outlines the primary players in an industry, it is an essential tool to identify target markets and prospective licensees. It can also help ensure that you don’t waste time talking to companies who may be “interested” in your technology because they may want to use it but are not in the right value chain position to license it. Continue reading

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Screening: Is the Technology Fit for Commercialization?

RedStool-Straight_IMG_0029-900pxEffectively managing intellectual property (IP) requires being selective about where to direct your limited resources. Not every technology can (or should) go to market. So how do you determine which innovations are poised for commercialization success and which have low-potential and should be released/abandoned? For the most efficient use of resources, the best practice is to start with a technology screening. Today we’ll consider what that involves. Triage First to Check for Red Flags When a technology first comes into the office — usually in the form of an invention disclosure — there is the preliminary step of confirming that the technology doesn’t have any major show-stoppers. Before investing any resources in screening the technology… Continue reading

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