Petri dish in a lab

Innovation in Bloomington

Technology Commercialization

Tech Commercialization

It has to start somewhere. Before ideas or inventions make the leap from laboratories, conference presentations, or academic journals - and into everyday use - they often need a sponsor company with the testing, development, marketing and distribution resources to make it happen. Before companies assume the financial risk that comes with investing in such technologies, those technologies require legal protection so that competing firms and ideas cannot obtain an unfair advantage by using ideas that are not their own.

Obtaining that legal protection - and licensing use of that technology to a sponsor company - involves a five-step process that includes disclosing the technology, evaluation to see if it is suitable for patent protection, securing the patent, finding a suitable sponsor company, then finally, licensing that technology to the sponsor company.

For a step-by-step overview of the technology commercialization process, click here.

Startup Companies
Sometimes inventors wish to carve their own path - and form their own company to serve as the vehicle to bring their idea or invention to market. For those who are successful, this achievement offers a certain amount of pride through self-accomplishment - but it also involves its own unique set of challenges.

Before launching such a journey, potential entrepreneurs should carefully consider these questions before making a decision.

Software Licensing
If you develop software and wish to make it available to others, you can either take the commercial route or share it through open sourcing. In both cases, licensing is often required. To learn more about those processes, click here.

Become Familiar with IU's Intellectual Property Policy
Indiana University''s intellectual property policy applies to any employee, appointee, student or other persons who use IU resources, in whole or in part, to create intellectual property. Such property primarily falls into two areas: patentable works and copyrightable works.

  • Ownership of patentable works is vested in the university.
  • Ownership of copyrightable works generally lies either with the work's creator (traditional works of scholarship) or the university (university works).

For detailed information about IU's intellectual property policy, read here:

Key Forms

One of the first steps in the technology commercialization process is filing an invention disclosure form. These forms must be completed, then submitted to an IURTC technology manager, before any idea or invention be considered for patent protection or any marketing efforts that may follow.

Two lesser-known, yet equally important documents, are the revenue sharing form and additional creator form. Revenue sharing forms are required if an inventor and his or her co-creators plan to share licensing revenue in unequal proportions. If an idea or discovery involves more than one inventor or author, each of the additional inventors must complete an additional creator form.

For copies of these common IURTC forms, click here: