Intellectual Property Creation at Sandia
Sandia's intellectual property results primarily from R & D conducted for the government in the national security sector. We collaborate with industry, leveraging each other's strengths to develop innovative technology. We perform internal R & D directed at the most challenging issues in national security, for which breakthroughs would provide exceptional value to government and industry. All totaled, Sandia has more than 1200 patents and 500 commercial copyrights, the bulk of which are available for licensing.
Licensing Sandia's Intellectual Property
Sandia's intellectual property may be licensed for commercial use (internal or commercial sale), test and evaluation, or execution of a government contract. One may also secure an option on a future license. Example licenses include:
- Commercial Patent License
- Commercial Copyright License (software or design plans)
- Commercial Hybrid License (copyright and patent)
- Test and Evaluation License
- License Option
- Government Use Notice
Sandia is mandated by the Department of Energy to move its technology to the marketplace for the benefit of the U.S. economy. Given our national security focus, government is the primary customer for many Sandia licensees, but our technologies also find use in the industrial and consumer markets. Sandia issues licenses to companies ranging in size from start-ups to multinationals. Our qualification procedure considers a company's ability to bring a product to market as conveyed by their business plan, among other factors. The possibility to create a new company that can leverage our technology and achieve substantial growth is also important, given our interest in entrepreneurship. Sandia works with Technology Ventures Corporation and other organizations to help entrepreneurs secure funding to bring our technologies to market.
- License term usually runs the length of the patent or copyright. Terms for Test and Evaluation licenses and License Options are limited in time.
- Financial consideration may include an upfront license fee, annual license fee, milestone fee, running royalty, or company equity, as appropriate. We seek an equitable return to the laboratory without impeding the licensee's ability to successfully commercialize the technology.
- Performance requirements may be established to insure the licensee is diligent in their commercialization plan.
- Licenses may be limited by field of use, region, or period of restraint. Non-exclusive licenses are preferred, but we consider exclusive licenses when the business case is justified. Exclusive licensing requires a competitive assessment of potential licensees to select the one having the highest probability of success. Performance requirements are also more stringent.
- Commercial licensees must substantially manufacture their product in the U.S., given the Department of Energy's intent to provide benefit to the U.S. economy.
- The U.S. government retains a right to use the technology for government purposes.