Phosita IP Blog


Three British universities recently proposed an interesting initiative called the Easy Access IP Project. The goal is to grant royalty-free licenses to anyone willing to commercialize technology within the university’s portfolio that has not yet been commercialized. Most licenses are non-exclusive, but exclusive licenses may also be available. The universities maintain websites where they post information about upcoming opportunities and summaries of available IP.

The idea is intriguing—provide companies with an opportunity to browse an otherwise unused portfolio and notify them when upcoming technologies become available for licensing. It certainly seems to promote commercialization of innovation, because if the university is unable, for whatever reason, to commercialize a patent, a third party could evaluate the patent and try to commercialize it royalty-free. The universities would be at an advantage since the terms of the license agreement reserve the rights to practice the technology for academic and research purposes. This could be the proverbial win-win situation for both the universities and business entities willing to exploit otherwise unexploited IP assets.

The counterargument, of course, is that the universities may be at a disadvantage, since companies may refrain from negotiating and obtaining royalty-bearing licenses, in hopes that they may license the same IP under a royalty-free license via the Easy Access IP Project. As another potential pitfall, it’s worth considering that an established company may obtain a non-exclusive license and rely on existing distribution or manufacturing capabilities to simply outcompete other non-exclusive licensees of the same technology. This may put small companies and start-ups at a disadvantage, and may come as a windfall to existing businesses, rather than serving to incubate startups and entrepreneurs around the respective university.

It will be interesting to see what kind of reception the Easy Access IP Project receives among the academic and business communities. Since the sample licenses for the project require annual reporting of the use of the technology and the economic benefits derived from it, some project metrics released by the universities would hopefully be forthcoming to see the program’s impact. 

Image by electropod on Flickr Creative Commons- some rights reserved.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Want to read more about the Easy Access IP Project? Check out the three links below.


DC On Film Row

About DC on Film Row

DC on Film Row is a free event space open to everyone in our community.

We like to say that the space is a “home for creatives and innovators, home builders and the homeless, celebrators and the celebrated” so people understand that we are inclusive and want everyone from throughout our community using our space.

Our goal is to celebrate the incredible diversity of creativity, innovation, and passion within Oklahoma City and to provide a venue—free of charge—to those groups and individuals working to bind us all together and make our home a cooler and better place. No strings attached—no extensive rules to follow. We simply ask that all of our neighbors be honored and that all viewpoints be respected. Our criteria for use is simple: If the event, group, or meeting is something which strengthens our community and brings us all together, the space is available for use.

The space has hosted everything from charitable fundraisers to an underground nightclub party to celebrate Canterbury Choral Society’s 45th anniversary season. We host dinners for the OKC homeless population most Monday evenings where upwards of 250 people are served—we provide the space and soft drinks and a local church provides the food. We’ve hosted university planning retreats and monthly local rock concerts.

Every Wednesday, we open up the courtyard for lunch, invite a local food truck to set up outside our gates, and welcome our downtown neighbors into the space for a bit of socialization.

Our never-ending soda fountain seems to be the biggest hit with some of our neighbors while others spend time playing pool or simply chatting about what is happening on the weekend.

For October we turn the space into a haunted house and invite the neighborhood children to come out and trick-or-treat.

Got an idea for how to use the space? Just ask us – we’re almost certain to say yes!

The Space for Ideas.

Protecting all things creative

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