Licensing Technologies

A license is a means of transferring commercial rights for technologies developed at Y‑12 to the private sector. A license authorizes a “licensee” to use a patent, copyright, trademark. A technology license can be the basis of a new product line, or even a new company. The technology transfer process can shortcircuit the lengthy and costly product development cycle, and provide the licensee with a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Prospective licensees must complete the application for a patent/ copyright license. Information provided by Y‑12 and the prospective licensee in this document is used for discussion purposes only; it does not constitute an offer or proposal by either party. Portions of the information provided in the application are protected by Y‑12 as business sensitive in accordance with legend printed on those pages.

From this information, the Office of Technology Transfer will propose a set of terms and conditions for licensing. Upon agreement on the basic terms and conditions of the license, the Office of Technology Transfer drafts the formal license agreement.

Upon approval of that document by the licensee, both parties execute the agreement.

All of Y‑12's patent and copyright licenses require four types of payments:

  1. an up-front fee payable at the time of execution of the license,
  2. reimbursement of patent costs,
  3. a “running royalty” payable periodically based upon product sales and
  4. a “minimum annual” royalty which is offset by running royalties if the running royalties meet or exceed the stipulated annual minimum.

The actual amounts of these fees are negotiable based primarily upon the fair market value of the technology, the degree of exclusivity granted, and commitments to commercialization made by the applicant.

After the license agreement is in place, Y‑12 makes every effort to support the licensee's commercialization of the technology. Developmental support can be provided on a cost recovery basis under “Work for Others” agreements or “Cooperative Research and Development Agreements.”

In addition, subject to the same constraints, employee researchers are permitted to consult with the licensee on their own time. All such arrangements are of course subject to any conflict of interest restrictions, the availability of the necessary resources, and the preemptive needs of the U.S. Department of Energy.

For additional information, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization and Partnerships toll-free, 855-545-TECH (855-545-8324).