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Learn how URVentures works with University of Rochester inventors and researchers.

Our mission is to develop UR innovations into valuable products and services to make the world ever better. Below you will find a brief overview of our general process. Although we have highlighted the main steps below, the process is not always linear and may be tailored to the particular technology. Contact us if you have any questions. 


Submitting your invention to our office is the first step in protecting and commercializing your invention. Submit your invention online through our invention disclosure form. 



  • Public disclosure immediately prevents us from obtaining most foreign patent rights and may impact our ability to obtain U.S. patent rights.
  • Patents filed prior to public disclosure have a much stronger position.


After the invention is disclosed to our office, a licensing manager, often with an IP attorney, are assigned to the technology.


The assigned licensing manager will contact you to arrange a call or meeting to discuss the invention disclosure. During this phase, the inventor(s) and licensing manager, often with an IP attorney, work together to conduct a preliminary evaluation of the feasibility, patentability, commercial viability and novelty of the invention. Evaluation by the licensing manager and a patent attorney occurs at each step in the patent process having significant costs. If URVentures decides not to begin or continue prosecution, the University may assign their rights to the inventor through a waiver process.


Learn more about the evaluation process and general decision criteria


Following the initial evaluation, URVentures may decide to to pursue intellectual property protection for the invention. Patenting an invention requires several years and thousands of dollars (approximately $20,000 to issuance in the U.S. alone, not including ongoing maintenance costs). With URVentures set budget, we cannot patent all technologies disclosed to our office. 


View the funds available for patent expenses


Patent protection begins with the filing of a patent application with the USPTO. The expertise of the inventors is critical during patent filing and prosecution. Inventors are expected to work with URVentures and outside patent counsel in drafting patent applications and responses to patent offices. 


Learn more about the patent process

Technology Development

University inventions tend to be in the earlier stages of development, requiring substantial de-risking and investment from a potential licensee. Concurrent with patent protection, inventors are encouraged to continue to develop their technology to a stage more attractive to potential licensees and investors. To help support these efforts, URVentures manages the Technology Development Fund (TDF) and the Drug Development Pilot Award. These funds provide awards to University researchers to develop their technology to a commercial endpoint.


Technology Development Fund


Drug Development Pilot Award


URVentures’ licensing managers use multiple strategies to identify potential licensees that have the expertise, resources, and interest to bring the technology to market. Often, existing relationships of the inventors, the licensing managers, alumni, and other researchers are useful in marketing an invention. Licensing managers also utilize market research, examine complementary technologies and agreements, and leverage conference and industry events to help identify potential licensees. 


In addition to active marketing efforts, URVentures also maintains online databases of available technologies.


Browse Our Available Technologies


A license agreement is a contract between the University of Rochester and a third party related to the use of intellectual property developed at the University. University license agreements usually stipulate that the licensee should diligently seek to bring the intellectual property into commercial use for the public good and provide a reasonable return to the University. 


Licensees are chosen based on their ability to commercialize the technology for public benefit. Sometimes an established company with experience with similar technologies or markets is the best choice. In some cases, a start-up company is the best option; for example, where capital is needed to prove the concept prior to larger industry/investor interest or commercial scale up. 


Learn More About Licensing


If there is income generated through licensing and commercialization, the University will receive a royalty at the rate set in the license agreement. Following the deduction of legal expenses incurred by the University related to patenting and commercialization of each unique technology, the royalty income is distributed to the inventors, the affiliated department, the school or college, and the University of Rochester’s IP pool. The inventor’s share of royalty income is 35%. The full details can be found in section 6.4.2 of the University’s IP policy. 


University of Rochester’s Intellectual Property Policy

Intellectual Property
Licensing & Marketing