Progress in medicine hinges on the successful translation of basic science discoveries into new medical devices, diagnostics, and therapeutics. “Technology transfer” is the process by which new innovations flow from the basic research bench to commercial entities and then to public use. In academic institutions, intellectual property rights do not usually fall automatically to the individual inventor per se, but most often are the property of the institution. Technology transfer offices are tasked with seeing to it that such intellectual property rights are properly managed and commercialized. This 2-part series explores the technology transfer process from invention to commercialization. Part 1 reviews basic aspects of intellectual property rights, primarily patents and copyrights. Part 2 will discuss the ways in which inventions become commercialized through startup companies and licensing arrangements with industry players.
Van Norman, G. A., & Eisenkot, R. (2017). Technology Transfer: From the Research Bench to Commercialization: Part 1: Intellectual Property Rights—Basics of Patents and Copyrights. JACC: Basic to Translational Science, 2(1), 85–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacbts.2017.01.003