The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

Idea worth patenting: Licensing agreement will help UNC in long run

A new licensing standard for bringing UNC-owned technologies to market should be very promising for the University community and the public at large.

Before this agreement, University researchers struggled to bring their creations to the market, as a result of a very burdensome negotiation process.

The average time for the researcher and the University to agree to a contract was usually three to nine months.

Thus, the public lost the benefit of many exciting new technologies created at our University.

However, the Carolina Express License Agreement allows researchers to opt for a set of predetermined terms, which could allow companies to receive licenses within a month.

Since there is no need for extensive negotiation, these aspiring entrepreneurs can focus on what is important: how to best share what they have created with society.

There might be some concern that the University is conceding too much of the revenue generated by its intellectual policies. Last year, UNC earned about $3 million from licensing agreements.

But the University is looking towards the future. If the number of startup companies increases, this might mean more revenue and credibility for the University in the long run.

This could induce more renowned researchers to come work for UNC.

Other prestigious universities are taking note of Carolina’s new licensing scheme.

Miette H. Michie, interim executive director and CEO of the University of Virginia’s Patent Foundation, “applauds UNC for moving in this direction.” She indicates that other universities will pay close attention to how the licensing program works in practice.

There are only three companies who are currently taking advantage of UNC’s new licensing agreement, but it will take a couple years to evaluate the program.

The University should be commended for taking steps to remove the barriers that prevent its innovative research from reaching our community.

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