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Penn State to auction its intellectual property online

Penn State will hold an auction for intellectual property, where winners will receive licensing rights to patents derived from faculty research in the College of Engineering, according to a university statement.

The auction will be the first of its kind in the United States to be directly overseen by a university, and will take place from March 31 to April 11. University officials believe this auction will be the first of many.

“Penn State and other research universities typically have IP that has been marketed by their tech transfer offices but for a variety of reasons has not been picked up by a commercial entity and therefore sits on the proverbial shelf,” said Penn State Associate Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer Ron Huss. “This auction is an effort to get our IP off of the shelf and in the hands of companies that can use the technology, at very favorable terms and price points. The buyers get the rights to use the IP, and the University gets a financial return. It's a win-win situation.”

The Intellectual Property Auction Website -- I-PAW -- is now accessible at http://patents.psu.edu/ so that interested parties can view available IP, create an account and pre-register for the auction.

But selling patents is not the sole purpose of the auction. Penn State Interim Vice President for Research Neil Sharkey said the idea was chosen in part to raise awareness of the University’s licenses whose commercial applications could prove extremely valuable.

There will be about 70 engineering patents available for auction in fields such as acoustics, fuel cells and sensors. Many of the required minimum bids will be around $5,000. Beyond the patents currently on auction, users can browse Penn State invention patents that are available for licensing through the Office of Technology Management.

Posted by Mike Cipriano on Apr 01, 2014 at 10:07 AM


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