A new trend in technology transfer offices: Express Licenses

Dean Stell has looked at the pros and cons of Express Licenses, new contracts coming out of TTOs designed to speed up the technology transfer process. Essentially an Express License is a one-size-fits-all agreement available on a TTO’s website:  print it, sign it, submit it.


  1. Transparency in pricing. Organization A pays the same as organization B, and everyone knows what that is.
  2. Speed. Express Licenses do what they were intended to do, make the whole process go faster.
  3. Inexpensive market test. If the technology is available at a reasonable price and no one expresses interest, perhaps there is no market.
  1. By definition, intellectual properties are unique and it is impossible to have a one-size-fits-all license maximize market efficiency.
  2. TTOs tip their hand as to what they are willing to accept in a license, which will undoubtedly haunt them in future negotiations.