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AUTM Releases COVID-19 Technology Licensing Guidelines to Expedite Development and Sharing of Pandemic-Focused Innovations

April 17, 2020

Washington, DC – April 17, 2020 — AUTM has released a framework of COVID-19 Technology Licensing Guidelines that it developed to help academic and federal research institutions quickly and fairly share products and services created to prevent, diagnose, treat and contain the virus as well as protect healthcare workers during the pandemic.

The guidelines were published on April 15 and already have been signed by more than 40 institutions worldwide as well as the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

The principles were developed to provide solid guidance for technology transfer offices globally and recommend offering time-limited, non-exclusive royalty-free licenses in exchange for the licensee’s agreement to deploy the treatment or service quickly to address the health crisis.

“This approach addresses the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic while providing flexibility for local implementation according with the needs of each individual innovation ecosystem,” said Marc Sedam, AUTM’s Board Chair and Vice Provost for Innovation and New Ventures at the University of New Hampshire. “Universities are already actively responding to meet the challenges of this crisis and it’s our responsibility as a global Association to do anything we can to speed solutions that address the current public health and safety needs.”

Institutions that wish to sign-on to AUTM’s COVID-19 Licensing Guidelines can do by visiting this link.

COVID-19 Licensing Guidelines

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly moved the work of technology transfer offices from university and other nonprofit research organizations to the battle’s front line. In order to support our Membership worldwide and enable a swift end to the crisis, AUTM is providing these guidelines, which are consistent with the Association’s long-standing support for humanitarian licensing. The AUTM Board of Directors endorses these COVID-19 Licensing Guidelines and invites your institution to do the same.

  1. Technology transfer accelerates innovations that impact society and promotes the broad distribution of public health solutions. We encourage intellectual property owners to adopt a COVID-19 licensing strategy that facilitates rapid pandemic response by licensees and to make the execution of associated transactions a top priority.
  2. For most technologies, where legally possible, this strategy is best accomplished by adopting time-limited, non-exclusive royalty-free licenses, in exchange for the licensees’ commitment to rapidly make and broadly distribute products and services to prevent, diagnose, treat and contain COVID-19 and protect healthcare workers during the pandemic (as defined by the World Health Organization).
  3. Licenses may subsequently convert to a more typical commercial license as appropriate. Licenses must also preserve the licensor’s freedom to publish and use the intellectual property for teaching and research.

AUTM has long supported expediting research from academic and government labs around the world to the public for the good of society, as exemplified in the 2007 Nine Points to Consider in Licensing University Technology framework. Now more than ever it is important for technology transfer offices to reinforce these principles.

About AUTM

AUTM is the nonprofit leader in efforts to educate, promote and inspire professionals, throughout their careers, to support the development of academic research that changes the world. AUTM’s community is comprised of more than 3,000 members who work in more than 800 universities, research centers, hospitals, businesses and government organizations around the globe.

To learn more about AUTM and the work research institutions are doing to address the pandemic, visit ?www.AUTM.net?/COVID.

Media Contact
Leef Smith Barnes
AUTM Chief Marketing Officer
703-870-4895
lsmithbarnes@autm.net