Working with AzTE
AzTE operates as the exclusive intellectual property management and technology transfer organization for Arizona State University. All activites are conducted in accordance with the policies of the Arizona Board of Regents and ASU.
The overview below summarizes the process of taking an invention from disclosure to licensing. For a complete overview of issues pertaining to intellectual property, please reference the AzTE Faculty Primer on Intellectual Property (revised March 2011).
1. Processing your invention
AzTE offers technology commercialization expertise to ASU faculty, staff, and students in the area of scientific research and innovation. We identify research with potential commercial interest. By completing the technology transfer process outlined below, your invention is made available to the public for licensing. Please be aware that not all inventions make their way to the licensing stage and that the timeline is approximate.
Submit Technology Disclosure and Record Form
The first step of AzTE’s process begins by completing and submitting a Technology Disclosure and Record form which provides a description of the invention including: investigator(s) research, funder(s), invention details, related research, and any public disclosures.
Assign Case Number to Invention
Once we receive the disclosure form, it is recorded and given a case number. At any point in time, you can find out the status of your invention in the technology transfer process, including details ranging from patent filing to identification of potential licensees. After you are assigned a case number, an AzTE representative will contact you to discuss the review process, key dates and answer any questions you may have.
2. Technology evaluation
[60 days after completed invention disclosure is received]
Begin Intellectual Property Review Process
You will be asked to participate in the intellectual property (IP) review process. The team analyzes the technology according to the following categories:
- Market size
- Growth potential
- Competitive analysis
- Market risks, hurdles and technical merit
Industry experts and patent counsel may participate in the evaluation of your invention to provide a more robust view of market needs.
Meet with AzTE Review Team
All information obtained during the course of technology evaluation is reviewed at a monthly IP review meeting. An initial decision is made on the next appropriate steps to begin the legal protection of your invention.
Initial Decision Whether to Proceed
If the conclusions of the assessment indicate that the best opportunity for commercialization is through the formation of a startup company, then AzTE offers services to assist you in the process.
You are welcome to review evaluation materials relevant to your technology compiled by AzTE.
3. Market technology
[Up to 10 months]
If the invention is ready to be marketed, AzTE develops a non-confidential summary of your invention to send to potential licensees.
A list of target companies will be compiled from many sources, including our extensive, in-house industry database, our market research and your industry contacts. The campaign will commence using the summary along with any other relevant publications. AzTE staff actively contact target companies to talk about your invention and determine their interest.
Re-Evaluation After approximately 10 months, a second decision is made at a subsequent IP review meeting to determine whether to continue with the protection paperwork filed on your invention. This decision is made based on market interest determined during this stage.
The marketing and licensing process is ongoing and may be done in stages as improvements are made. Please be sure to inform AzTE of any new developments or contemplated publications that may describe improvements to your invention.
4. Protecting Intellectual Property (IP) assets
One of the most critical jobs that AzTE performs is managing the components of IP protection on behalf of ASU.
While it's important to allow you and members of your investigative team to publish and otherwise share ideas, it is equally important to protect those ideas with the greatest chance of commercial success. This balancing of academic and commercial interests requires thoughtful action and planning.
Patenting is the most common way to protect ASU's intellectual property. Other methods include confidential disclosure agreements, trademarks, and copyrights. AzTE closely safeguards new technologies to provide all parties with the highest level of protection in a licensing transaction.
Please use the following links for further details regarding IP assets:
5. License technology
When AzTE finds a licensee for your invention, we negotiate, execute and manage the resulting license agreement. Negotiating a license agreement can be a lengthy process. Where appropriate, AzTE endeavors to structure licensing agreements that provide fair value to the inventor, university and licensee. In addition to the financial terms, agreements typically include reporting requirements and performance milestones.
A component of the successful commercialization of licensed technology is the financial rewards generated for the inventor. Licensees typically make contractual payments of scheduled royalties tied to revenues generated by your invention.
Licenses often lead to collaborative research relationships or sponsored research agreements that are mutually beneficial and lead to valued, long-term relationships.