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When scientists and students at the University of California, through the course of academic research, conceive an idea that has practical utility, that intellectual property becomes valuable to industry and the public. As with other research enterprises in which the university is involved, the UC Board of Regents will generally own the intellectual property deriving from the work of UC employees at the California Institutes for Science and Innovation.

Key points

  • UC routinely licenses the rights to commercialize its intellectual property to companies.
  • Companies often fund specific research projects in anticipation of rights to commercialize research advances. Entering into such arrangements, UC retains ownership of the intellectual property and grants the sponsor a right to negotiate a license to that intellectual property once the research is completed and obligations to all other research sponsors are assessed.
  • These licenses are typically royalty-bearing and may be granted exclusively or non-exclusively. In rare cases, UC issues royalty-free, non-exclusive licenses to introduce new technology into rapidly advancing fields of technology.
  • UC is a national leader in the management of intellectual property and currently manages more than 3,000 U.S. patents and nearly 600 active licenses with annual royalty income of approximately $80 million.

Benefits of UC licensing policies:

  • Facilitate access to institute research by a full spectrum of California businesses.
  • Provide incentives for California's entreprenurial businesses engaged in cooperative research and education at UC.
  • Ensures that licensees demonstrate diligence in undertaking the investments necessary to commercialize new technologies.
  • Promote respect among UC researchers for the academic principles of open dissemination of research results and an open educational environment.

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