University technology transfer offices can learn from the private sector


In Blogging Innovation, Melba Kuman recently listed some elements of IBM’s IP licensing strategy that might be relevant to university patent portfolios:

  1. IBM IP-related revenue includes payments from licensing know-how, consulting fees and other intangibles, not just patents (That licenses including trade secrets and knowhow are generally more lucrative to the licensor is the theme of BVR’s Licensing Trade Secrets: Overview and Sample Agreements)
  2. Patenting decisions at IBM are de-centralized and inventors are incentivized
  3. Patents can be cross-licensed to other entities
  4. Potentially patentable IBM technologies are sometimes placed into the public domain (see IPBlog on collaboration as the new business model)
  5. Selected IBM patents are donated to open source projects
  6. IP value must be protected, and IBM engineers actively search for potential patent infringements


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