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What if one of the inventors is from another institution?

Many research projects involve collaborators from another university, company, or research laboratory, so it is not uncommon to have outside co-inventors. In such cases, each institution will have an unrestricted right to commercialize the technology without any accounting to the other–unless there is a written agreement specifying how the IP rights are to be handled.

When the co-inventor is from another University, the institution of the lead inventor will generally prepare a written inter-institutional agreement whereby it agrees to take the lead in patenting and commercializing the technology. Under the agreement, royalty income is shared between the institutions in an equitable manner and each institution distributes its share in accord with its own policies.

When the co-inventor is from a company, a license agreement may be negotiated defining the rights of the parties in commercializing the technology.