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AAU-APLU Technology Transfer Management Survey Results


Given recent federal- and state-level lawmakers’ interest in university technology transfer practices, AAU and APLU conducted a survey to gauge the extent to which member universities have implemented AAU’s Working Group on Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property and APLU’s Task Force on Managing University Intellectual Property 2015 recommendations regarding the management of intellectual property (IP).


For more information about how to conduct technology transfer in the public interest read

Technology Transfer for All the Right Reasons 
featured in the Volume 18, Number 4, March 2017 publication of Technology & Innovation. 


These recommendations include:

  • Develop and state a clear mission and vision for university management of IP.
  • (Re)affirm university’s commitment to adhere to technology transfer practices that best serve the public interest and are aligned with the Nine Points to Consider in Licensing University Technology.
  • Highlight institutional policies that restrict the university from working with patent assert entities or “patent trolls.”

Key Results

  • 87 percent of institutions employ practices, are developing or have already developed written policies that ensure that technology transfer practices are consistent with advancing the public good and the university’s core missions, and adhere to the Nine Points to Consider in Licensing University Technology.
  • 84 percent of surveyed institutions do not have a specific policy restricting their university’s ability to license intellectual property to patent assertion entities. However, almost 20 percent stated that their university does not in practice license to patent assertion entities. Additionally, many institutions have crafted license agreements that allow the institution to revoke a patent license if the licensee fails to develop and/or appropriately commercialize the invention embodied in the patent.
  • Six institutions have gone through a review process, benchmarking their policies with AAU working group and APLU taskforce IP management recommendations.

Institutional Examples of Proactive Steps to Improve Technology Transfer Management


Iowa State University

  • Conducted a review process matching the university’s policies with AAU and APLU recommendations.
  • Written policy to insure that licensees commercialize: “The University must...assure that arrangements will be made so that its obligations to the public and to granting/supporting agencies will be met...The University must be satisfied that the patent will be beneficially used.”

Louisiana State University

According to LSU Bylaws:

  • LSU does not permit brokerage of LSU intellectual property.
  • Licensees are expected to be directly active in developing and commercializing licensed IP.
  • Exceptions to this policy will only be permitted upon the written authorization of the Chancellor, President, or designee.

University of Illinois System


Washington State University

  • Conducted an internal review of current policies and detailed how they align with AAU/APLU recommendations.
  • Exclusive licenses are structured to encourage diligent development of the technologies and ways to pull the technology back if licensees are not actively pursuing the technology.

Recommended Next Steps for Campus Technology Transfer Offices