Glossary of Categories of Non-License Agreements with Industry
UNHInnovation prepares or reviews Confidentiality Agreements to facilitate communications with the private sector. In order to consider a technology for license, a company needs access to UNH's proprietary information. Confidentiality agreements are also needed prior to discussions regarding sponsored projects and when individual faculty are contemplating consulting for companies. Agreements can be either unilateral or bilateral.
Sometimes UNH researchers are involved in joint research work leading to shared invention rights with other institutions. UNHInnovation negotiates and prepares Interinstitutional Agreements with other universities or for-profit organizations. These agreements address procedures for handling intellectual property issues, legal expenses and distribution of license revenue. UNHInnovation reviews and negotiates the intellectual property portions of agreements for New Hampshire Industrial Research Center clients working with UNH researchers.
Material Transfer Agreements facilitate the transfer of materials to UNH researchers from outside non-profit and for-profit institutions, as well as the transfer of materials from UNH researchers to outside entities. These agreements ensure protection of proprietary rights, Bayh-Dole Act provisions and UNH indemnifications.
UNHInnovation creates Trial Agreements for the confidential testing and evaluating of new plant materials by commercial growers on behalf of UNH researchers. Trial Agreements are for a specified period of time. The grower may not reproduce, propagate or multiply the plant materials without permission from UNH. At the end of the term the grower submits their confidential trial results to UNH and all plant materials are destroyed.
The most common form of industry-university collaboration is via a Cooperative Agreement. These agreements are the result of research proposals. On a routine basis, UNHInnovation reviews proposals and cooperative agreements for Sponsored Research. The key issues in these proposals and agreements from a technology transfer perspective are the intellectual property rights and various options given to industrial sponsors for the inventions developed at UNH.
The investigators' need for industrial support to conduct research must be balanced with the need to protect both theirs and the university's intellectual property. It is also important not to violate the Bayh-Dole Act by assigning inventions partially developed with federal support to a private party.
In exchange for supporting research, private sponsors usually insist upon being granted various types of options to resulting inventions. It is very important to ensure that such options would not remain open-ended and that a time limit is specified in the agreement during which a company may exercise its option. UNHInnovation also requires that every cooperative agreement contain language indemnifying UNH from potential liabilities arising from the sponsored research results.