IP Trading

In the Tech Transfer world, how to facilitate the effective trading of Intellectual property is an ongoing focus. Online database offerings are variously in-place with varying levels of effectiveness. Simple postings clearly do not work and the effort is to try to provide more pro-active capability. Among the most interesting - and perhaps most controversial - of these approaches has been the work of Ocean Tomo in offering very high-end IP Auctions in the US, in Europe and in Asia.;

In this context, lots of attention has been placed on University patent portfolios, on the surplus IP of the larger and mid-sized corporations and, to some limited extent, government owned IP. As many of you have heard me note, however, the SBIR community are collectively by far the largest concentration of technical talent and - very much associated - prolific creators of sophisticated and oft-cited IP.

However, except for our in-system aggregation of all issued patent holding by SBIR firms, there is no one location in which patents held by SBIR involved firms can be readily accessed.

This is truly an omission of some consequence.

At this point, the SBIR community holds

  • close to 70,000 US issued patents, many with related international holdings - a rate of issuance of about 4-5 a day.
  • Many firms which have strong IP which could legitimately be being traded, lack the expertise and network of professional contacts to be able to do that on any systematic basis

    Though the primary emphasis is on SBIR held IP available for purchase, to round out the full IP offering in the context, we are in conversation with various sources of available IP which are of likely interest to SBIR awardees themselves. These include

  • larger firms - some of whom, in part at our suggestion - are using that surplus IP and currency to trade with, to establish useful working relationships with SBIR involved firms at often nominal cost but with useful, mutually valuable outcomes
  • some university developed projects - to date almost always organized around setting up of new firms ... In the best of circumstances, always very difficult to do and much less likely in the 'new' SBIR environment
  • government developed and federal labs holdings.