Working with OTL

UF Intellectual Property Policy (pdf)
OTL 2013-2014 PowerPoint Presentation (ppt)
Working with OTL: A Startup Primer (pdf)

The Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) at the University of Florida was established in 1985 to work with inventors to facilitate the transfer of technologies created at UF to the commercial sector for public benefit. We are dedicated to assisting employees who feel they have something new and useful that is potentially able to be patented or copyrighted.

The first step is to report a new discovery on our new web-based disclosure form. Upon receipt, we will contact you to schedule an appointment to discuss your new discovery and determine the next steps. Be sure to avoid having conversations revealing details about your discovery with anyone outside your laboratory without first executing a Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA).

Confidential disclosure agreements protect your rights if you need to discuss enabling details of your invention with people outside the university. The Office of Technology Licensing staff executes an average of 300 CDAs per year, often completing many of them on the same day. Telling others what your discovery does is fine, but giving enabling information - about how your discovery works - without a CDA in place can drastically affect patent protection.

A CDA serves three purposes:

  • It alerts the receiving party to the confidentiality of the information to be received.
  • It specifies the responsibilities required of the receiving party.
  • It can be used as evidence in subsequent patent processing, e.g., to defeat an allegation that the invention is not novel because the inventor treated it as public information. This kind of allegation arises frequently from those contesting a potentially lucrative patent, so a CDA is more than a "mere formality."

OTL is here to ensure your rights are protected, so contact your licensing officer or call (352) 392-8929.

Additionally, should you decide to transfer or receive materials such as antibodies or cell lines, the Office of Technology Licensing will be happy to work with you to execute a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) to ensure all intellectual property rights are defined prior to the transfer. Material transfer agreements protect your intellectual property rights when you exchange biological, chemical or other materials, including cell lines, plasmids, vectors, transgenic mice or chemical compounds with other organizations. OTL assists researchers in executing more than 350 MTAs each year and can help you in expediting this process to ensure your rights are protected. If you are interested in transferring materials, the OTL staff is ready to assist you, since only authorized university administrators can sign these agreements. To obtain a MTA form, contact Sharon Lu at (352) 392-8929 or sharonlu@ufl.edu.

Seminars & Faculty Presentations

Seminars and faculty presentations are an excellent way to ensure you and your colleagues are knowledgeable about issues that could affect your intellectual property. OTL staff members regularly conduct presentations tailored to the needs and interests of the requesting department. To schedule a faculty presentation, contact any of our licensing officers or call (352) 392-8929.