Frequently Asked Questions for Industry (FAQ)

What technologies are available for license from UABRF?

Why do you license technologies?

What stage are your technologies in? Will I have to invest anything in developing products from your technologies?

Do I have to sign a confidential disclosure agreement (CDA) before I get any information?

How do I license a technology I’m interested in, and what are the terms?

How long will it take to license a technology through UABRF?

Do you license to startup companies?

Do you advise or fund companies?

Can I negotiate and sign license or confidentiality agreements directly with UAB researchers?

How do we manage and monitor the license agreement once signed?

Where can I find more information?



What technologies are available for license from UABRF?
A broad range of technologies are available for license. We have an especially strong portfolio in medical, biomaterial, and pharmaceutical technologies, and computer, engineering, and other technologies are also available (more information). We encourage you to talk with a licensing associate about your company’s interests or email us about what you’re looking for. A UABRF licensing associate may also make the initial contact with you if we see a match between certain UABRF technologies and your company’s field.
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Why do you license technologies?
The University’s primary missions are education, research, and patient care. In addition, where consistent with its primary objectives, it also wishes to obtain the greatest public good from the products of its research, to produce license revenue for the University to help fund its operation, and to produce financial rewards for its faculty and staff innovators. Thus, we actively seek to discover and assess products of UAB research that may have commercial value, to protect this intellectual property (through patents and other means) as appropriate, and to seek opportunities to license these technologies into the commercial sector.
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What stage are your technologies in? Will I have to invest anything in developing products from your technologies?
Some UABRF technologies, for example biomaterials like monoclonal antibodies and process technologies like drug formulation and drug delivery, are ready for immediate commercial use. However, many of our technologies are in an early stage and would require additional investment by a licensing company before a product is ready to market. Our licensing terms are flexible and can reflect the specifics of the technology, the company, and the industry involved. If you are interested in one of our early stage technologies but not sure if you’re ready to license and develop it, other approaches include sponsoring further research with a license option, or entering into a collaborative research agreement to develop the technology further. Contact us to discuss these approaches.
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Do I have to sign a confidential disclosure agreement (CDA) before I get any information?
No, in most cases an UABRF licensing associate can share some general information about a technology’s possible uses and benefits without the need for a CDA. If you are interested in learning more, then the licensing associate can execute a confidential disclosure agreement with you and share more detail about the innovation. At that point we may set up a meeting or conference call including the primary investigator of the technology.
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How do I license a technology I’m interested in, and what are the terms?
Once you’ve learned enough about the technology to know you’d be interested in a license, the same licensing associate will work with you to negotiate a license agreement that benefits both parties. We can be flexible in license terms. For example, license vs. license option, exclusivity, fields of use, duration, license issue fees, ongoing royalties, and royalties triggered by milestones are all tools available to shape a licensing agreement so that it meets both parties’ needs. In most cases, we expect a licensee to reimburse patent expenses already incurred and future patent expenses as they occur.
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How long will it take to license a technology through UABRF?
There are several steps involved. First, a CDA can generally be negotiated and executed within a month, much less if you accept our standard CDA.

Second, you evaluate the technology. The length of time for this step is under your control. Companies have ranged from a few weeks to more than a year to evaluate an UABRF technology before entering contract negotiation. During this process, we will try to respond quickly to any questions you have and to ensure timely access to the innovator if needed.

Third, we negotiate a license agreement together. The length of this step will depend on how quickly the parties are able to reach mutually agreeable terms. Previous licensing agreements have taken anywhere from one to twelve months to negotiate and sign.
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Do you license to startup companies?
Yes, in some cases, and we are proud of the many successful companies that have been started based on UAB technologies. However, our primary responsibility as steward of these technologies is to the University, so we must consider whether licensing a technology to the startup company is more likely to create public good and University revenue than licensing it to an established company. Thus, we would likely ask for information on your management team, funding, and business plan in evaluating whether this license opportunity is a good fit for the University. We will consider compensation in the form of equity rather than cash, but again must weigh this compensation versus other licensing opportunities that may be available.
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Do you advise or fund companies?
No. However, there are other organizations in the area that do. For example, Innovation Depot is UAB’s high-tech business incubator and can provide support services for new businesses, and the Birmingham Venture Club is an organization of those that fund and provide services to businesses.
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Can I negotiate and sign license or confidentiality agreements directly with UAB researchers?
No. UAB researchers are not authorized to sign agreements with companies regarding technologies they develop at UAB, because the intellectual property products of their research are assigned to the UABRF as a condition of their employment or matriculation. Confidential disclosure agreements, the assignment of patent rights, and the license of any technology must be negotiated through the UABRF. Any contract you sign directly with a UAB researcher would not be valid if not signed by the UABRF.
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How do we manage and monitor the license agreement once signed?
This will depend on the terms of the agreement. However, generally we will expect from you an accounting and payment of your obligations on a regular basis as specified in the contract, for example quarterly. If any of your obligations are triggered by milestones rather than time (for example, a lump sum payment when a drug reaches certain stage in the FDA approval process), we would expect a periodic update on your progress and when you expect to reach the milestone. Our license agreements reserve for us the right to conduct a periodic audit of your compliance with the agreement terms. Feel free to contact us to discuss any issues that arise while an agreement is in effect.
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Where can I find more information?
Contact UABRF at RF License.
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