By: Katherine Rubino
On April 17, 2020 the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) released licensing guidelines for COVID-19 related inventions.[i] As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage across the globe, AUTM has compiled a list of current ongoing research, clinical trials, licensing guidelines, and potential treatments, in order to share useful information with members around the world.[ii] AUTM is a non-profit organization that supports the development of academic research. Members of AUTM include over 800 universities, research centers, hospitals, businesses, and government organization worldwide.[iii]
The licensing guidelines released by AUTM were developed to provide guidance for technology transfer offices in order to promote non-exclusive royalty-free licenses in exchange for spurring innovation that help address this public health crisis.[iv]
The licensing guidelines specify that:
- Technology transfer accelerates innovations that impact society and promotes the broad distribution of public health solutions. We encourage intellectual property (IP) owners to adopt a COVID-19 licensing strategy that facilitates rapid pandemic response by licensees and to make the execution of associated transactions a top priority.
- For most technologies, where legally possible, this strategy is best accomplished by adopting time-limited, non-exclusive royalty-free licenses, in exchange for the licensees’ commitment to rapidly make and broadly distribute products and services to prevent, diagnose, treat and contain COVID-19 and protect healthcare workers during the pandemic (as defined by the World Health Organization).
- Licenses may subsequently convert to a more typical commercial license as appropriate. Licenses must also preserve the licensor’s freedom to publish and use the intellectual property for teaching and research.[v]
Currently, over eighty-five universities, hospitals, and research institutions located all around the globe have signed on to participate in the licensing guidelines established by AUTM.[vi] Further researchers, universities, and institutions interested in sharing research and news can contact AUTM to post information related to COVID-19 related research or innovations. This information can be posted or searched without an AUTM membership. For more information, interested participants can visit https://autm.net/about-tech-transfer/covid19/about-covid_19-research.[vii]