A close relationship between inventors and OCR is critical when inventors want to start a company. Inventors are the source of Yale’s inventions and copyrighted works. In a sense, they produce the “product” OCR is trying to “sell.” OCR works closely with our inventors because we rely on their participation in the patenting and marketing process. OCR encourages inventor input: for leads on potential licensees; for informed assessments of the technical and market feasibility of the invention; and for suggestions on which licensing strategy would best commercialize the technology.
However, inventors do not participate in the actual negotiation of license agreements with potential licensees. OCR gives careful consideration to inventors’ input and strives to keep them informed throughout the process. But, the conflicts that may arise from an inventor’s multiple potential roles and relationships – University researcher, royalty recipient, company consultant, company board member – make such participation unwise at best.
Direct involvement in negotiation places a faculty inventor in a management role for the new company, which is not permitted by Yale policy.