The licensing process
The journey from invention to licence deal.
Intellectual property (IP) that has been developed at Imperial by College employees in the course of their normal duties belongs to Imperial (as does IP developed by students in certain limited cases). All licensing of IP owned by Imperial must be routed through our specialist teams, who can help you to navigate the process. Your first step if you have invented a technology during your research should be to contact your Faculty IPC team for a discussion.
The process generally follows these steps:
- Invention disclosure. If you make a discovery with possible commercial potential or create an invention in the course of your research, it is essential that you report this to your faculty’s Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation (IPC) team as soon as possible to make sure the IP can be protected.
- Protect the IP. If our teams decide to protect the IP, based on our criteria, they will take it through the process of registration. Some forms of IP are not protectable but still have the potential to be commercialised.
- Decide the best route forward. The IPC team will then help you to determine if licensing or forming a spinout company is your best option.
If you decide that licensing is best for you:
- Test market potential. Continuing the process that begins while the IP is being assessed, our teams will evaluate its commercial potential.
- Market the IP and find a licensor. We will work with you to identify potential licensees and market the IP. Our imperial.tech website promotes the wide range of innovative technologies developed at Imperial to make it easy for companies looking to license technology to find what they need.
- Negotiate agreement. We have specialist staff who will negotiate the licence deal on your behalf and execute the legal agreements and paperwork involved in executing a licence deal.
- Share the financial the rewards. Our Rewards to Inventors sceheme allows Imperial inventors to share in the revenue generated from a successful licence agreement.