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Conference: Technology Transfer, University Commercialization Efforts, and Patent Strategies

The traditional model of university technology transfer operations focused principally (and sometimes solely) around the identification, protection, and licensing of intellectual property rights (IPRs). This model, motivated by a desire to increase licensing fees, sometimes created tensions between faculty members and university licensing operations. It also led universities to pursue strategies designed to maximize royalties, including ones often identified with so-called "patent trolls". This conference will take a look at university licensing practices and evaluate alternative strategies that universities can pursue. Most notably, in an era increasingly focused on "open innovation," there is an opportunity to re-think how university licensing entities operate. From the monetization perspective, it bears inquiry whether and how research efforts can lead to results oriented around greater levels of collaboration with outside parties and open innovation. From the institutional perspective, this conference will also investigate how tech transfer can best be woven into faculty research. What models of technology transfer can best build up the trust and engagement of faculty, staff, and students–as well integrate with the communities. In discussing this point, we will also examine both the legacy strategies used around IPRs as well as possible alternative ones.

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