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The Technology Partnerships Office (TPO) prepares, negotiates and manages licenses inventions owned by NIST. To view a list of the inventions owned by NIST, visit TPO’s NISTTech page. NIST may grant licenses for commercial purposes either exclusively or non-exclusively for a specific field of use. For research purposes, NIST grants only non-exclusive licenses. For further information, please contact a License Officer at TPO. A summary of some of the license types available is provided in the table below. NIST’s model license agreements are available for review, although the terms and conditions may be modified for a specific license on a case-by-case basis.

license chart_9-28-12

How to Apply for a License

Parties interested in licensing a NIST-owned invention may contact a License Officer at NIST, or may complete a license application. Instructions on how to submit the license application are provided at the end of each application. When a license application is received by a License Officer, TPO will contact you regarding the licensing process and to obtain additional information that may be necessary for the application process. A license application should include the prospective licensee’s intentions for research and development of the invention(s) and a description of the resources and technical capabilities of the prospective licensee to bring the invention to practical application.

Licensing Process

The licensing process depends on whether or not an invention was conceived wholly or partially by NIST’s employees in the performance of research conducted under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement. For more information about CRADAs, please visit TPO’s CRADA page. If a prospective licensee is interested in licensing an invention that arose under a CRADA or under a NIST-led Consortium, please contact a License Officer at TPO.

Based on the information provided in a license application received from a prospective licensee, TPO will prepare a license agreement for review by the prospective licensee. Any changes to the legal provisions of a license agreement may delay the process of finalizing the license agreement. After the License Officer at TPO and the prospective licensee discuss the terms of the license agreement, TPO will finalize the document for signatures. For any exclusive license, TPO is required to publish a public notice of its intent to grant the exclusive license to the federally-owned invention. The notice is published in the Federal Register and provides the public with fifteen (15) days to comment.

Modifying a License Agreement

Should a need arise to modify the terms of a license agreement, the licensee may contact a License Officer at NIST to discuss a modification to the license agreement. Any such modification will only be effective when set forth in writing and signed by all parties.

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NIST Technology Partnerships Office
100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-2200

NIST Inquiries/Directory: 301-975-6478 

TPO Phone: 301-975-2573
TPO Fax: 301-975-3482
TTY: 800-877-8339
E-mail: tpo@nist.gov