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Licensing Inventions from Entrepreneurial Universities: The Context of Bayh–Dole

In: Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results


  • Anne M. Rector
  • Marie C. Thursby


Licensing from US universities is done within the overall legal framework of the Bayh–Dole Act of 1980 and the employment agreements of universities. This chapter explains common contracts used by universities to license technologies developed by their faculty and students within the context of these laws. In addition to the legal framework, the nature of license agreements is affected by the embryonic nature of most university inventions, which necessitates faculty and student involvement in development, and the entrepreneurial goals of the university. Universities have diverse goals in terms of revenue, licenses executed, inventions commercialized, patents filed, and number of startups formed. The somewhat obvious problem is that the goals of faculty, students, the university, and the licensee may not be aligned. Common contracts used are meant to align these goals. While some contracts include multiple terms such as upfront fees, running royalties, annual payments, and equity, Express Licenses are increasingly being used to accommodate the entrepreneurial environment. This chapter discusses these issues and also the importance of the rights to sublicense inventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne M. Rector & Marie C. Thursby, 2016. "Licensing Inventions from Entrepreneurial Universities: The Context of Bayh–Dole," Advances in the Study of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Growth, in: Marie C. Thursby (ed.), Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results, volume 26, pages 361-413, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:aseizz:s1048-473620160000026013

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