There are two main ways of generating income from patents for a university: licensing to an existing company or licensing to a company specifically set up to exploit the technology (a spinout company). The most frequently deployed of these is licensing to an existing company.
During the patenting process the IP team actively seeks potential licensees.
Licensing deals vary in their complexity, and may generate an up-front payment, regular (usually half yearly) payments based on sales volume (i.e. a royalty), or lump sum payments which are only paid when the technology reaches pre-determined commercial or technical milestones.
The net income generated from licensing is distributed between the academic inventor, central University of Birmingham funds, and the school or college that employed the inventor when the patent application was filed.
The net income is defined as the income after the deduction of 15% (which goes to University central funds) and any third party costs including those associated with a patent application.
Where the net income is up to £100,000/year, 50% is distributed to the inventor, a further 25% to University central funds, and 25% to the school or college.
Where the net income exceeds £100,000/year, the excess is distributed as 20% to the inventor, a further 40% to the University central funds, and 40% to the school or college.
Setting up a spinout
In some circumstances theIP team may conclude thatthe best route to exploitation of your ideas and patent is to form a spinout company.
Further information on spinout company formation