Licensing Principles


Intellectual property rights are secured to encourage the development of products and services that advance the public interest and public good.

The successful development of early-stage academic technologies into widely accessed products and services is a costly endeavor, with no guarantee of success. If a company is able to secure intellectual property rights from the University, it is more justified making the significant investments necessary to translate academic technologies into fully scaled-up products and services.

2. License terms should support and encourage the active development of products and services that advance the public interest and public good.

Companies licensing technology from UCSB are asked to commit to actively developing products and services that are based on the licensed technology. UCSB’s licensing terms are designed to encourage active, robust product development.


License terms should support the academic principles of the University.

The University of California’s fundamental mission is research, teaching and public service. UCSB recognizes the importance of providing exclusive commercial rights, when appropriate, to facilitate the development of products and services that will benefit the public. The commercial licensing terms, however, cannot compromise the University’s fundamental academic mission or principles.


License terms should reflect that university technologies are early stage and often need substantial commercial research and development to be successful and make an impact.

UCSB acknowledges that substantial investment is often necessary to develop commercial products and that, as a public research university, UCSB’s ability to conduct applied research and development activities to fully develop academic technologies is limited. These realities should be reflected in the license terms.

5. The University, and the taxpayers that support it, should receive fair consideration for the grant of commercial rights.

The majority of research conducted at UCSB that spawns new technology is funded by governmental or nonprofit sources. Even when industry partners fund a research project, the expertise brought by the University is built upon many years of publicly funded research. State taxpayers also make substantial investments in faculty salaries, buildings and other research infrastructure. And, without the intellectual efforts of the UCSB researchers, the innovation itself would not have occurred.

While UCSB recognizes that companies make substantial investments when translating academic innovation into products and services, the license terms also need to recognize the substantial investment already made by the taxpayers, as well as the intellectual efforts of the UCSB researchers.


Startups play an important role in the development of academic innovations and can benefit the local economy.

Established companies often want to acquire technologies after they are fully developed to minimize risks. This requires product development beyond what academic universities can accomplish.

Startup companies, which are often formed around one key technology, can fill this gap effectively and may be more willing to develop disruptive technologies or develop products for markets that do not yet exist. While doing so, startup companies create jobs and attract new funding to the regional economy.