License agreements confer a package of rights to the commercial partner to allow them to use BCM-owned technology in the commercial marketplace to develop products and services based on the BCM-owned intellectual property asset. Focal points of the negotiation of a license agreement revolve around the financial terms of the agreement and obligations of the commercial licensee to commit resources to the development of the licensed technology. Depending on the level of exclusivity, license agreements may be divided into three categories.

• Exclusive license agreements: Exclusive license agreements involve a license of rights to a single company. These agreements are generally associated with patented therapeutic and device technologies that must go through clinical trials and regulatory approval processes before they can be sold. Exclusivity is necessary to justify the licensee’s investment to develop the technology and carry it through the regulatory approval process.

• Semi-exclusive license agreements: Are typically granted to a limited number of companies (often three) and frequently involve licenses of research tool technologies (antibodies) to for-profit distributors of research tool reagents to the scientific community. This agreement format is infrequently used.

• Non-exclusive license agreements: As the name implies, technologies that are licensed on a non-exclusive basis are often licensed to multiple companies. Non-exclusive licenses are generally associated with non-patented research tool technologies (knockout mice, cell lines engineered to have certain characteristics, expression vectors, etc.). Companies will readily license these technologies if they are priced appropriately because they save the company the time and expense associated with independently developing the tool.

The BLG negotiates and executes license agreements with commercial partners on behalf of the College. For all license agreement related questions, please contact blg@bcm.edu or the BLG project manager for your department.