Every significant research university has an office of technology transfer responsible for identifying protectable research that has potential commercial interest. The tech transfer office then develops and executes strategies to meet that commercial interest. In executing on the strategies, the technology may be licensed to large corporations. In other instances, the technology is licensed to start ups building businesses to exploit the innovation. In still other instances, the technology is transferred among universities.
A tech transfer practice involves patenting inventions, protecting trade secrets, identifying and clarifying ownership between interested parties, licensing technology, and more. Within a university, there is a strong need to manage resources to identify and protect those innovations that are most commercially viable. For third parties, there is a strong need to clarify and document ownership rights and licenses so that there may be a clear path to commercialization. Tech transfer work is often highly technical and of critical importance to all parties involved.
While in law school, RPL’s owner, Patrick Richards, wrote his first patent application for the UVa Patent Foundation, the technology transfer group for the University of Virginia (now the UVA Licensing and Ventures Group). Since that time, Patrick and his clients have worked with or for the technology transfer groups at Northwestern University, Stanford University, The University of Chicago, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The University of Illinois at Chicago, The University of Michigan, The University of Notre Dame, and The University of Wisconsin-Madison, among others.
In addition to the work above, Patrick is a co-founder and chief strategy officer of Resonance Medical, LLC, a health-tech company developing software for neuromodulation and other sensory enhancing devices. Resonance is a Northwestern Start Up and licenses a portion of its patent portfolio from INVO, the Innovation and New Ventures Office at Northwestern University. The work RPL does on both sides of the tech transfer table helps inform our pragmatic approach to problem solving when working with and/or licensing from a University’s technology transfer group.
RPL’s attorneys have deep experiences in working with and for technology transfer offices and the students, professors, start ups, and corporations involved in commercializing the intellectual property.