Licensing Process

The Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) seeks to partner with companies that have a strong interest in the cutting-edge research available at the George Washington University (GW). GW has already secured corporate-sponsored research funding for technology commercialization in the range of $250,000-$500,000. GW has also partnered with companies to win Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer awards.

TCO recognizes the value of ideas. Our top priority is ensuring that the innovations GW researchers have spent months or years creating are protected and commercialized. We have a number of technologies available to license, and are happy to partner with investors that will help develop GW's cutting-edge technologies and bring these new products to market. 

Licensing is the foundation of TCO's relationship with companies. A license provides rights for a company to use GW-owned intellectual property for commercial purposes. Often, we grant exclusive licenses, which means GW will not grant commercial rights to any third parties. Sometimes a non-exclusive license is sufficient for a company's needs, in which case GW may grant additional licenses to third parties.

Revenue Sharing

GW and the inventors share revenue generated by licensing of inventions.  

Please refer to GW’s Patents and Scholarly Work Policy (PDF) for details.

Overview of the Licensing Process

1. Find a technology

To find desired technologies, companies can search our summaries of available technologies. TCO can also help companies identify technologies that fit their needs. Companies can submit technology requests to our licensing associates.

2. Due diligence

Companies can request additional information (patent applications, presentations and manuscripts) from our licensing associates, and if needed, all parties will sign a Confidentiality Agreement. TCO licensing associates can facilitate meetings with GW inventors.

3. Option gets negotiated (sometimes)

An exclusive option to a license may be negotiated if a company wants to reserve rights while performing additional due diligence research or testing. An option locks up licensing rights for the company for six months with a relatively simple agreement and relatively small costs compared to a full license. In general, an option only requires the company to pay for ongoing patent costs rather than also reimburse past patent costs. Options generally also involve a modest up front fee.

4. License term sheet gets negotiated

Negotiation of business terms of the license begins by using a term sheet. The term sheet allows us to focus on key items (patent rights, exclusivity, field, fees, royalties and equity) without getting bogged down by too much legal language.

5. Draft license gets negotiated

TCO provides a draft license agreement that we will negotiate with the company.

6. Use licensed rights to develop and sell a product

After the license is signed, the company can develop, market and sell its products/services that are based on GW-owned intellectual property. GW inventors often provide licensees valuable advice on how their technology works.

7. Company and TCO maintain their ongoing relationship

Company and TCO collaborate on patent filings and responses to patent offices' actions to obtain strong IP protection. Company keeps GW informed of its development and sales efforts. Company pays fees and royalties to GW. TCO supports company commercialization efforts by connecting to investors and corporate partners and facilitating sponsored-research at GW.