At the Office of Innovation & Commercialization (the Office), we manage Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s innovative technologies. We work with you to protect the new innovations you’ve created and get them to the marketplace for the public’s benefit. The first step in this process is telling us about the innovation (i.e., “disclosure”). Tell us what you’ve done, how you’ve done it, and why it’s better than what's currently available. The sooner you tell us, the better we’ll be able to help. We ask that you let us know at least one month before an enabling public disclosure (e.g., conference presentation, manuscript publication or preprint, talking to a company about funding additional work, etc.).
Definition of LSU Intellectual Property (Article VII, Section 2)
What happens next?
It’s our goal to be completely transparent in the innovation review process. We want you to be involved each step of the way. If you’re not invested in the success of the innovation you’ve developed, it won’t succeed.
Step 1. Evaluating the Innovation
We review your Innovation Disclosure Form for completeness. Answering every question with as much detail as possible helps the Office move more quickly to protect and commercialize the innovations disclosed. We use a tool called the Commercialization Scorecard to evaluate your invention for patentability, marketability, and technical merit. The final score we give your disclosure is not a go/no go decision point, instead, it's meant to start a conversation between the Office and you the inventors. The Commercialization Scorecard helps us determine if patent protection is available, what obligations we might have to a third party (e.g., research sponsor, material provider, etc.), and what market need the innovation satisfies. Once a decision has been made to invest in protection for an innovation, we will handle the appropriate patent, trademark, or copyright filings.
Step 2. Protection Review
We strongly suggest that you perform an initial prior art search before disclosing your innovation (Prior Art Search Tips). We follow up with our own literature and patent search to supplement what you've found. We’ll share with you a list of prior art that we think might be similar to the innovation and ask that you tell us how it is different and why that difference is significant. This review gives us our first real look at the breadth of coverage we may be able to get from a patent. Please visit this page to learn more about the patenting process.
Step 3. Marketing
This is where the rubber meets the road. A patentable invention doesn’t do much good as a shiny plaque on your wall. Getting the innovation you’ve disclosed into the marketplace for public benefit is what we’re all about. We can market your innovation by cold calling industry players, posting information about your innovation to websites, and mailing innovation summaries - and we will - but you’re usually the one that has the best marketing leads. Studies have shown that a large percentage of licenses are done with a company known by one or more of the inventors; therefore, your contacts can be extremely useful. It can take months or even years to find the right licensee for your innovation, but the benefits are well worth the investment. The technology transfer process enables Pennington Biomedical's innovations to make a positive impact on our society.
Step 4. Licensing
Once an industry partner has expressed an interest in the innovation, we’ll begin the license negotiation process. A license is the contract between LSU and a company granting them the right to practice (and sell) the innovation. As consideration for this right, we often require an upfront license fee, a percentage of the company’s sales of the technology, reimbursement of our patent/legal fees, and milestone payments. Inventors receive 40% of the licensing revenue we receive after reimbursement of the Office’s expenses. If we negotiate a license with a startup company, we’ll often accept equity in lieu of an upfront cash payment.
Step 5. Monitoring Progress
After the license agreement is signed, the Office maintains ongoing contact with the licensee to monitor its performance and ensure that they are in compliance with the terms and conditions of the license. In many cases, the licensee will fund additional research at Pennington Biomedical or retain the inventor as a consultant in order to further develop the innovation. We handle any necessary adjustments or amendments that need to be made to the license agreement over time.
Schedule a Meeting:
If you’d like to meet in person to discuss your new innovation or just learn more about our processes, we’re always happy to come meet with you. Send us an email with “Schedule a Meeting” in the subject line and we’ll make ourselves available. We’d also welcome the opportunity to speak at your lab meetings, or to a smaller group, to tell you more about intellectual property, the patenting process, and our office.