Accredited investor: a company that offers or sells its securities must register the securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission or find an exemption from the registration requirements.

Assignee: the entity that owns a patent.

Association of University Technology Managers: professional network that promotes and supports technology transfer through education, advocacy, networking, and communication. Learn more about the Association of University Technology Managers.

Bayh-Dole Act: legislation that gives universities, small businesses, and nonprofits control of the intellectual property that results from federal funding. Learn more about the Bayh-Dole Act.

Business plan: a formal document that describes a potential business model and is used to assess a startup’s viability.

CEO-in-Residence Program: matches business executives who have a track record of success in establishing, financing, and leading startup companies with University intellectual property to contribute to or lead a new startup.

Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA): maintains confidentiality between parties sharing confidential information.

Copyright: protection given to original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, giving the holder of the copyright the exclusive right to reproduce, adapt, distribute, perform, make derivate works, and display the work.

Equity: ownership interest in a corporation in the form of common stock or preferred stock.

Exclusive license: a license for intellectual property that is given exclusively to one licensee.

External entrepreneur: entrepreneur or investor outside the University who seeks to create a new company based on a license to University research.

Feasibility study: a proposal including the business concept, technology, market, and management team and projects the potential impact and success of a startup.

Income Distribution Agreement: an agreement between the inventors of a technology and the University that dictates how licensing income will be distributed.

Initial Public Offering: when a company issues common stock or shares to the public for the first time.

Intellectual Property: any invention, discovery, or copyrightable work and its related rights. Examples include a cure for a disease, software, a new type of mousetrap, or books.

Intellectual Property Commitment CommitteeUniversity committee that reviews and approves actions related to disclosed intellectual property.

Intellectual Property Disclosure Form: used to declare a new technology and analyze it for commercial or public value.

Inter-Institutional Agreement: includes information about the patent rights and the unique business terms used when University materials are co-owned or licensed with another institution.

Invention: a new or improved process machine or composition of matter. Includes computer software.

Inventor: an individual or group of individuals who invented, authored, or were otherwise responsible for the creation of intellectual property.

License: legal permission granted by the owner to allow another party to use the intellectual property.

License agreement: provides the company certain rights to University intellectual property in return for commercialization efforts and payments to the University.

License application: outlines the inventor’s plans for commercialization and demonstration of business case.

License terms: defined items within the license agreement the licensor and the purchaser of the license agree to uphold.

Licensee: a for-profit, privately held company to which the University licenses or assigns intellectual property rights in University-owned technology.

Material Transfer Agreements (MTA): used when University materials are transferred to a company for further evaluation or development. The MTA also includes provisions for confidentiality between the parties. Learn more about MTAs.

Minimum payments: the minimum amount the licensee is required to pay.

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA): a legal contract to protect information considered to be proprietary or confidential. The parties agree not to disclose information covered by the agreement. Learn more about NDAs.

Non-Exclusive License: a license for intellectual property that can be given to multiple licensees.

Office of Institutional Compliance: provides independent oversight over the University's compliance programs and is responsible for coordinating and monitoring these programs to assure the University is compliant with federal, state, and local laws and regulations as well as University policies. Learn more about the Office of Institutional Compliance.

Technology Commercialization: This office oversees all aspects of technology commercialization at the University. Technology Commercialization covers the breadth of technology developed at the U, from life sciences and engineering to software and agriculture. Technology Commercialization's experts work together to determine the best path for commercializing each technology.

Option Agreement: provides a specific amount of time to evaluate an invention before licensing. Generally, a one-time fee is charged, and other fees, such as patent costs, may also be included.

Patent: grants property rights on new, useful, and nonobvious inventions by the U.S. Government through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The grant of a patent excludes others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing the invention in the United States. Learn more about patents.

Plant Material Testing Agreement (pMTA): a contract that controls the transfer of plant materials from the owner or authorized licensee to another party, generally an institution for research purposes or a grower who plans to test the plant variety in their environment.

Pre-money value: a company's valuation right before its latest round of financing.

Prior art: the total body of knowledge including publications and patents, which teaches or otherwise relates directly to an invention. This is the primary criterion in determining the patentability of a new invention.

Provisional Patent Application: a strategy to preserve your rights for one year during which a decision must be made whether to file a regular patent application. A Provisional Patent Application is not examined but must serve as the priority date for later-filed applications.

Public disclosure: any communication to a person not obligated to keep the information confidential which provides the details that enable them to recreate your discovery. Public disclosures include: oral presentations, abstracts, posters, papers, theses, awarded grant applications, web sites, emails, blogs, and even a confidential conversation that occurs in public.

Report of External Professional Activities (REPA): form filled out annually by faculty and staff to report external activities and business and financial interests in accordance with the University policies that govern external professional conduct, activities, and interests. Learn more about REPAs.

Researcher Entrepreneur: University researcher who has a desire to initiate a startup and feels their research program may create this opportunity.

Research sponsor: government, foundation, not-for-profit entity providing monetary or material support to a research project.

Royalties: usage-based payments made by the licensee to the University for ongoing use of University intellectual property.

Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants: a highly competitive federal program that encourages small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization by offering federal research and development awards. Learn more about SBIR.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants: a program that expands public and private sector partnership through funding for joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. STTR's most important role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations. Learn more about STTR.

Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA): is the University's system-wide office authorized to submit research proposals and receive awards from external sources on behalf of the University's Board of Regents. SPA is also the fiduciary for the University on grant-related matters. Learn more about SPA.

Sponsored Research Agreements: a contract that is negotiated with Sponsored Projects Administration and typically provides companies a first option to an exclusive license to any inventions arising from the contracted work.

Startup application: the first step in the startup process that includes entrepreneur information, a description of the startup business concept, and an initial feasibility study.

Startup company: Technology Commercialization defines a startup to be a new company that is spun out and given a license to commercialize University technology.

Technology Liaisons: work with investigators to seek out opportunities to patent or license discoveries, support researchers during commercialization, and respond to inquiries from the University community.

Technology Licensing Officer (TLO): works with industry and entrepreneurs to negotiate mutually beneficial agreements that maximize chances for commercial success.

Technology Portfolio Manager (TPM): works with inventors to provide guidance with respect to disclosure, evaluation, and the protection process.

Term sheet: a nonbinding document that captures the business terms of an agreement between a company and the University around a particular technology.

Trademark: protection given to any distinctive word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. Technology Commercialization generally does not pursue trademark protection except in select cases.

Trade secret: protection given to a formula, process, device, or other business information that is kept confidential to maintain an advantage over competitors. Due to the open nature of public universities, trade secrets, while commonly important intellectual property in companies, are less commonly protected in academic settings.

University Regents Commercialization of Intellectual Property Policy: governs patents and the ownership, commercialization and dissemination of intellectual property rights in technology created at the University. Learn more about the University Regents Commercialization of Intellectual Property Policy.

Venture capital: provided as seed funding to early-stage, high-potential companies in the interest of generating a return through an eventual realization event such as an IPO or trade sale of the company.

Venture Center: the business unit within Technology Commercialization that works with entrepreneurs, researchers, and investors to create startup companies based on University research.