The process of transferring intellectual property
(intangible ideas such as algorithms, designs and software) to organizations,
including universities and commercial companies, to ensure it is
well utilized. For successful technology transfer the intellectual
property must be protected through means such as copyrights and
This term generally refers to any product of the human intellect.
This can include an idea, invention, expression, unique name, process,
method, or design which has intrinsic value. Depending on the nature
of the IP and its intended use, MITRE can ensure its protection
through patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, service
marks, or mask work.
A patent is a grant from the federal government that entitles
its owner the right to exclude others from "making, using,
or selling" the invention from the date the patent has been
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the federal government
to "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium
of expression." It is essentially the "right to copy"
the original work.
Trade secrets encompass information that is not generally known
to the public, which the owner uses or plans to use in business
and which gives an advantage over a competitor.
This act essentially gives MITRE ownership of its intellectual
property and a duty to transfer. Specifically it:
- Permitted universities, not-for-profits, and small businesses
to obtain title to inventions developed with government support.
- Provided early on intellectual property rights protection on
invention and descriptions from public dissemination and FOIA.
It is the policy and objective of the Congress to use the patent
system to promote the utilization of inventions arising from federally
supported research or development; to encourage maximum participation
of small business firms in federally supported research and development
efforts; to promote collaboration between commercial concerns and
nonprofit organizations, including universities; to ensure that
inventions made by nonprofit organizations and small business firms
are used in a manner to promote free competition and enterprise;
to promote the commercialization and public availability of inventions
made in the United States by United States industry and labor; to
ensure that the Government obtains sufficient rights in federally
supported inventions to meet the needs of the Government and protect
the public against nonuse or unreasonable use of inventions; and
to minimize the costs of administering policies in this area.
CRADAs are agreements between one or more federal laboratories
or FFRDCs and one or more nonfederal parties to perform cooperative
and mutually beneficial research and development. Both partners
can provide the personnel, services, facilities, equipment, or other
resources. Can be used to support technology transfers where the
technology is particularly complex.
A group of companies, government agencies and other organizations
that work together to achieve some technical or market objectives.
Can be an effective, although complex, means of technology transfer.
Used to establish a formal or informal standard, or commercialize
a technology when a single company can not do so.
A standard is an agreed upon set of features for a particular
product or set of products that all provide the same service, but
with different designs. The industry (organizations, vendors and
customers) all agree that the products should conform to the standard
set of features.
A license to a single organization, typically a commercial company.
Direct licenses can come in many forms including exclusive, non-exclusive,
partially exclusive, and fee or no-fee.
The transfer of technology developed under government funding
from MITRE to a government agency or contractor designated by the
government. A common means of getting MITRE technology delivered
to government sponsors.
The Open Source Model makes source code available free of charge
to developers and users, but requires that any changes to the code
be released as open source. The originator or another party acts
as a moderator for development.
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