In 1980 federal legislation set the stage to allow universities and academic medical centers to retain the title to inventions created on campus with federal funds. This led to the development of Technology Transfer offices at U.S. universities where professionals manage the intellectual property developed on campus.
Faculty and staff are required to 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 often outside legal counsel.
When possible, these inventions can be marketed and licensed to existing companies for upfront fees, reimbursement of patent costs, and milestone payments. UTSW's OTD has negotiated more than 600 license agreements for patented, non-patented, and copyrighted technologies in the U.S. and abroad.