New University Approach to Intellectual Property Optimizes IP Disposition

The Arizona Choice is a new university approach to intellectual property that optimizes IP disposition in industry sponsored research.
November 21, 2013
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To learn more about the implementation of The Arizona Choice, visit Teach Transfer Arizona's site.


About Tech Launch Arizona

The University of Arizona created Tech Launch Arizona to advance UA discoveries into intellectual property, inventions and technology. TLA represents a prioritization, restructuring and resource enhancement of the UA’s technology commercialization and industry-sponsored research efforts. TLA will move knowledge and inventions developed by students and faculty into the market, with the primary goal of unifying UA researchers and the business community to significantly enhance the impact of university research, technological innovation, and technology park assets. By 2020, the University of Arizona through Tech Launch Arizona will become a recognized national resource for its role in integrating UA-created knowledge into tangible economic and social benefit.

To help foster productive collaborations between industry and the University of Arizona, Tech Launch Arizona has launched an innovative approach called The Arizona Choice

Through this new process, the UA gives industrial sponsors greater certainty and significantly minimizes intellectual property negotiations by offering the opportunity to choose between several defined options for licensing IP generated under sponsored research.

The Arizona Choice offers options varying from assignment of ownership of the University created IP (in limited situations), to up-front predetermined costs for an exclusive license to potential IP, to the more traditional route of a non-exclusive royalty-free license with an option to negotiate for an exclusive license.

"Our extensive discussions with companies revealed that most prefer the non-exclusive, royalty-free approach, but in some cases other approaches would be preferable," said Tech Launch Arizona Vice President David Allen.

Regardless of which of the four options a sponsor selects, the industry partner and the faculty researcher work collaboratively to determine IP disposition terms.

The Arizona Choice represents a new approach to helping both faculty and industrial sponsors understand nuances of IP disposition in a research agreement, ensuring both parties receive maximum benefit from the resulting agreement.  

"The principal investigators on a project understand the research plans and possible intellectual property that could be generated better than anyone else, so their participation in the IP disposition, in conjunction with the company, is essential," said Doug Hockstad, director of Tech Transfer Arizona, a department of Tech Launch Arizona.

By presenting various paths to potential industry partners and exhibiting the University's interest in being transparent, flexible, and empathetic to both industry and faculty concerns, The Arizona Choice presents an opportunity to promote a new outlook on partnering with industry, making the University of Arizona a clear "choice" for industry research partnerships.

"The IP disposition process related to industrial sponsored research can be complex," said Allen. "With The Arizona Choice, we're delivering on Tech Launch Arizona's promise to provide services that will streamline the process and get these innovations into use."