University Patents, Inc.
University Patents offers one main service: brokering patented technologies to the commercial sector. University Patents will focus on technologies that are licensable to multiple businesses but that cannot independently sustain a business. University Patents will use two different approaches to sell technology – brokering patents developed by our client universities and specific technology searches for our commercial customers.
The first approach is a licensee-search service that begins with an analysis of possible applications of the newly developed technology across various business sectors. From this analysis, University Patents develops a list of prospective companies and initiates contact with these companies. Once an interested company is found, University Patents works with the university technology office and the potential licensee to value the technology and price the final agreement. University Patents will receive a percentage of the revenue each new license generates.
The second approach is a specific technology search. This service is available to any business sector clients that are in search of a specific up and coming technology. University Patents will search through the known projects various universities are currently working on to find if a match exists. If an exact match can not be found, University Patents will attempt to match the business with a university having expertise in that specific field for possibly funding a research project. University Patents will be paid a flat finders fee for these services.
3.1 Competitive Comparison
University offices of technology – Most universities already have an office of technology who to perform this function. However, because most university offices do not have the time and/or resources, nor the contacts in the business sector to effectively move new technology out to commercialization, we believe that University Patents can perform the sales and marketing for them more effectively and cost efficiently than their current system. It appears that 90% of the market uses in-house methods of distribution for licensing.
Competitive Technologies, Inc. – Competitive Technologies (CT) is our direct competitor as a private company that provides this licensing service. CT appears to be sub-licensing the IP and patents from the owners and writing licensing agreements with the end-user. However, in recent years this business model’s weakness has shown itself as they have incurred high legal expenses due to patent protection. CT has a very small percentage of the market and, after one profitable year, had losses exceeding $1 million last year due to the litigation. University Patents will focus strictly on facilitating the creation of a licensing agreement between the university and the licensee and thereby have no responsibility in the enforcement of patent protections.
Venture capital groups – Due to venture capitalists’ focused interest in only technologies that will lead to a start-up venture, they are an indirect competitor for University Patents. University Patents focuses on technologies that will not support a business, but rather those that are improvements or supplements to existing technologies, which are not of interest to the VCs. There is a creditable threat though, of a VC group using its well-established network to begin a similar service.
All the emerging Web based sites are passive in nature without active sales, marketing and networking staffs. We believe this will give University Patents the advantage in competition for a client base.
Various Internet marketplaces and exchanges include:
2XFR – 2XFRTM (short for “to transfer”) is the technology transfer/licensing exchange Web property of the PatentCafe® Intellectual Property Network. 2XFR is the only supplements transfer website where licensable technology is listed by manufacturing process, engineering risk and targeted market segment. Unlike commissioned or transaction fee-based exchanges, 2XFR does not involve itself in the business affairs; there’s no broker’s commission, no intervention, no software license fees.
Pl-x.com – PLX Systems Incorporated is an enterprise-wide, intellectual property valuation and lifecycle management software. The company’s offerings include software for financial management of intellectual assets, IP valuation solutions, IP content management and market data services.
Yet2.com – Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with offices in Nevada, The United Kingdom and Japan, yet2.com has created the first global marketplace for the exchange of intellectual assets. At yet2.com, inventions are listed, licensed, sold and ultimately applied. Clients include corporations like Boeing, DuPont, Procter & Gamble, and others, which collectively represent 10 percent of all commercial R&D spending.
TechEx.com – TechEx is a network of research and licensing professionals in the biomedical industry. TechEx offers an online technology Exchange® where members can identify and introduce technology and intellectual property that is available for partnering. TechEx is a members-only system and is restricted to approved users. There are three types of participants:
- Licensing professionals from research institutions.
- Corporate licensing professionals capable of bringing early stage inventions to market, or otherwise providing significant value-added development.
- Venture capitalists capable of providing financial assistance to commercialization efforts.
PatentAuction.com – PatentAuction.com is an intellectual properties auction on the Web. Auctions include licensing or selling of patents, trademarks, copyrights, businesses, means and methods of doing business, books, music, and games.