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Objectives, Characteristics and Outcomes of University Licensing: A Survey of Major U.S. Universities


  • Thursby, Jerry G
  • Jensen, Richard
  • Thursby, Marie C


This paper describes results of our survey of licensing at 62 research universities. We consider ownership, income splits, stage of development, marketing, license policies and characteristics, goals of licensing and the role of the inventor in licensing. Based on these results we analyze the relationship between licensing outcomes and both the objectives of the TTO and the characteristics of the technologies. Patent applications grow one-to-one with disclosures, while sponsored research grows similarly with licenses executed. Royalties are typically larger the higher the quality of the faculty and the higher the fraction of licenses that are executed at latter stages of development. Sponsored research is more likely to be included in a license if the new technology is at an early stage of development or if the TTO evaluates it as important. We find that additional disclosures generate smaller percentage increases in licenses, and those increases in licenses generate smaller percentage increases in royalties. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Thursby, Jerry G & Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie C, 2001. "Objectives, Characteristics and Outcomes of University Licensing: A Survey of Major U.S. Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 59-72, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:26:y:2001:i:1-2:p:59-72

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Bronwyn H. Hall & Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2003. "Universities as Research Partners," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 485-491, May.
    7. Klette, T.J. & Moen, J. & Griliches, Z., 1999. "Do Subsidies to Commercial R&D Reduce Market Failures? Microeconometric Evaluation Studies," Papers 16/99, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
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    10. Monjon, Stephanie & Waelbroeck, Patrick, 2003. "Assessing spillovers from universities to firms: evidence from French firm-level data," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1255-1270, November.
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    15. Spyros Arvanitis & Ursina Kubli & Martin Woerter, 2011. "Knowledge and Technology Transfer Activities between Firms and Universities in Switzerland: An Analysis Based on Firm Data," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 369-392.
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    18. Wolfgang Becker, 2003. "Evaluation of the Role of Universities in the Innovation Process," Discussion Paper Series 241, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
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