Licenses & Other Agreements

A Guide to Intellectual Property and Commercialization at UGA

A license contains a grant of some or all intellectual property rights from the owner to another party (licensee) for a specific period of time.

A license agreement is a partnership between the intellectual property rights owner and another party who is authorized to use such rights (licensee). The agreement describes the rights and responsibilities related to the use and exploitation of intellectual property developed at UGA. UGA license agreements usually stipulate that the licensee should diligently seek to bring the intellectual property into commercial use for the public good and provide reasonable return to the UGA.

Innovation Gateway will identify the companies that are most likely to be successful in bringing the technology to the marketplace.

A share of any financial return from a license is provided to the inventor(s), as listed in the revenue distribution section.

Many licensee require the active assistance of the inventor to facilitate their commercialization efforts, at least at the early stages of development. This can range from infrequent, informal contacts to a more formal consulting relationship. Working with a new business start-up can require substantially more time, depending on your role in or with the company and your continuing role within UGA. Your participation with a start-up is governed by University conflict of interest policies and the approval of your supervisor.

  • A Non-Disclosure Agreements (“NDA”), or Confidentiality Agreement (“CDA”), is an agreement between two parties to keep shared information secret. These types of agreements are often required to protect business practices of potential business partners and early-stage research findings between research collaborators for later publication or patenting.
  • A Material Transfer Agreement (“MTA”) is an agreement governing the transfer of a tangible material from one party to another. It is essential that these agreements be put in place before materials are shared to avoid misunderstanding between the parties and to protect their intellectual property and business interests. Examples of tangible materials are plant or microbial cultures, monoclonal antibodies, plasmids, nucleotides, proteins and chemicals.
  • Inter-Institutional Agreements (IIAs) As mentioned above, inter-institutional agreements formalize the roles of the parties where co-owned intellectual property is being patented or licensed.
  • Option Agreements (or option clauses within research agreements) are put in place when a company wishes to have a limited time in which to evaluate a technology prior to entering into a full license agreement. Options usually last between 6 and 18 months, and will require consideration from the company.
  • Sponsored Research Agreements are put in place to govern particular sponsored research projects undertaken by UGA PIs and companies or other non-governmental funding sources. Intellectual property terms will be included in those agreements to manage any IP that is developed during the course of the research project. For more information, visit the Sponsored Projects Administration at