In 1980 federal legislation changed to allow universities and academic medical centers to retain the title to inventions created on campus with federal funds. This accelerated the development of Technology Commercialization offices at U.S. universities where professionals manage the intellectual property developed on campus. At UT Southwestern, the Office for Technology Development was established to carry out this important work.
After faculty and staff disclose inventions discovered through University-supported discovery to UT Southwestern Medical Center's Office for Technology Development (OTD), the invention's commercial potential is then assessed by both OTD professionals and outside legal counsel.
These inventions are marketed and licensed to existing companies and start-up ventures for upfront fees, reimbursement of patent costs, milestone payments, and royalties on sales of products. UT Southwestern’s OTD has negotiated more than 650 license agreements for patented, non-patented, and copyrighted technologies in the U.S. and abroad.