Technology License and Option Agreements grant rights to use Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory intellectual property for commercial use and non-commercial use.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s research produces a large number of innovative discoveries, many of which have commercial value. LBNL licenses software and inventions to industry in order to move Lab-developed technology to the marketplace for the benefit of society and the U. S. economy.
LBNL seeks licensees that can marshal the requisite financial, R & D, manufacturing, marketing, and managerial capabilities and commitment to successfully commercialize LBNL innovations. Our goals are to
- promote the use of Berkeley Lab technology to benefit society through licensing Lab inventions to companies capable of successfully commercializing them;
- support the research mission of the Lab through generating licensing income that supports future Lab research and by identifying industry partners to sponsor Lab research;
- earn a fair return and recognition for the Lab and inventors; and
- contribute to regional and national economic development.
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) negotiates licenses agreements. We endeavor to find win-win solutions and are experienced in working with small businesses and start-ups in addition to established and multi-national businesses. Qualified small, women-owned, minority-owned, and disadvantaged businesses are especially encouraged to inquire.
How can I find out about technologies available for licensing?
- Visit our index of available technologies and then contact us about potential collaborations and licensing
- Sign up for our customized new technology email alerts
- Write us at [email protected] or call 510-486-4306
LBNL broadly disseminates information about licensing opportunities via the Web, scientific journals, and promotional mailings sent to investors, industry contacts, and the media.
What if I am interested in an area of research, but there is no particular technology listed?
We will try to match you with a scientist doing work in your area of interest.
How does LBNL choose a licensee?
LBNL seeks licensees who are most able to bring a technology to market. The criteria we use to qualify a licensee are:
- R&D capabilities
- Financial resources
- Management commitment
- Experience in relevant markets
How long does it take LBNL to negotiate a license?
Every license is different. The time depends upon the complexity of the transaction. It generally takes a few months.
How much does a license cost?
Our licensing fee structure is in line with that of other academic institutions. The cost of a license is based on:
- The market value of the technology
- Common licensing practices in the relevant industrial sector
- Additional development costs involved in bringing the technology to market
- The scope of the field of use or geographic region
Scroll down for more specific licensing practices*.
What other important requirements are in LBNL licenses?
We are committed to ensuring that our licensed technologies are commercialized so that the public ultimately benefits. LBNL licensees must meet mutually agreed upon performance requirements that reflect diligent progress towards commercialization.
What is the typical length of a license?
LBNL licenses often run for the life of the patent although other terms are available.
Can I get an exclusive license from LBNL?
Licenses may be totally exclusive, exclusive for a particular field of use or geographic region, or non-exclusive.
In all LBNL agreements, the U.S. government is granted a fully paid-up, nontransferable, non-exclusive license to use the invention for government purposes only, as is the case with other federally funded inventions.
Will LBNL allow me to sublicense?
Generally, yes, if you have an exclusive license.
Do I have to manufacture in the U.S.?
Under an exclusive license, the technology must be substantially manufactured in the U.S. for sales to the U.S. market.
Will LBNL assign all patent rights to my company?
No, LBNL retains patent rights to its technologies. Your company will be granted a license to use the technology.
Are LBNL technologies ready for immediate commercialization?
It usually takes at least a year, and often longer, to develop the technology into a commercial product.
Are licenses available to non-U.S. companies?
Yes, although as a federally-funded facility, LBNL has a preference for U.S. companies.
- Terms of each license vary commensurately with the market value of each technology and the common licensing practices of the relevant industrial sector.
- Licenses typically have at least these three monetary terms:
- License issue fee, due upon execution of the agreement;
- Running royalty, most commonly based on a percentage of sales; and
- Minimum annual royalties.
- Licenses also contain performance requirements for the licensee. These are mutually agreed upon milestones that reflect the licensee’s diligent progress toward the development of the technology. These requirements ensure that technologies developed at Berkeley Lab are commercialized and that the public ultimately enjoys the benefit.
- Licenses may be exclusive or non-exclusive for a particular field of use or geographic region.
- When an agreement grants an exclusive license for the U.S. market, the licensee must substantially manufacture the technology in the U.S.
- The U.S. government is granted a nontransferable, non-exclusive license to use the invention for government purposes only, as is standard practice with federally funded inventions.