Success Story

Penn joins leading universities to launch Joint Technology Licensing Program

Penn is one of fifteen of the country’s leading research universities—Brown, Caltech, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, the University of Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Princeton, SUNY Binghamton, UC Berkeley, UCLA, the University of Southern California, and Yale— that launched the University Technology Licensing Program (UTLP).

UTLP brings a subset of intellectual property assets from within these universities’ patent portfolios related to the physical sciences together for efficient licensing, enabling interested tech companies to obtain licenses to inventions from multiple universities for their existing and future product offerings.

In pooling the patents, UTLP will streamline the dissemination of these universities’ technologies, paving the way for continued innovation in the marketplace. Previous university developments in the physical sciences have already generated important patented inventions that have improved lives and enabled new products. By providing a one-stop shop for companies to access technologies of interest, UTLP is designed to accelerate the pace of innovation in the industrial arena.

“UTLP is a creative solution to meet a long-felt need for universities and private sector actors. It will make the licensing of technologies much easier and more convenient, to the benefit of all participants,” said David Kappos, who served as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office from 2009 to 2013.

Multiple technology areas are included in the University Technology Licensing Program, including connectivity (e.g., power management, networking protocols, signal processing and codecs, location tracking, cameras and image processing); autonomous vehicles; and data applications (e.g., storage, data management, network protocols). Each participating university will determine which patents from among its intellectual property portfolio to contribute to the UTLP pool. In the future, UTLP may develop additional patent pools related to semiconductor fabrication, applied electronics, batteries, photovoltaics, robotics, and other areas.

“The commercialization of university inventions is a driver of our economy that greatly improves the well-being of American taxpayers.  UTLP is an important step in making our system even more efficient,” said Joseph Allen, who served as a professional staff member on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee with former Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN). Allen was instrumental in both drafting and working behind the scenes to ensure passage of the historic Bayh-Dole Act, a landmark law that spurred innovation by enabling institutions, including universities, to own, patent and commercialize inventions developed under their research programs with federal funding.

In their planning, UTLP and the universities solicited, and are pleased to have received, a favorable business review letter from the U.S Department of Justice. Visit the UTLP’s new website at

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