Next month, for the second time this year, Penn State plans to auction some of its U. S. patents online. Winning bidders will get licensing rights to patents derived from faculty research in a broad range of technical fields.
The first auction, held in April and believed to be the first of its kind in the nation conducted directly by a university, was not a huge financial success -- only two patents were licensed out of 73 on offer. It was nonetheless judged successful by other important measures.
"The auction has spawned many ongoing conversations with companies that hadn't known about our IP portfolio before," said Don Mothersbaugh, senior technology specialist at Penn State's Office of Technology Management. "It's a good way to let these companies know what we have to offer and vice versa."
Of equal importance, the auction's results have given the University a better understanding of the value of the patents it continues to hold.