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Licensing NIST Technologies

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Technologies Available for Licensing

For a searchable list of available NIST patents and published patent applications, please visit our NIST page here.

Licensing Overview

License agreements are legally binding and are subject to Federal, state, and local regulatory authorities. NIST licensees have the right to make, use, import, or sell the licensed invention within the field(s) of use identified within the license.

NIST licensees can seek an exclusive or non-exclusive license:

  • An exclusive license limits the use of the invention to a single group or entity in a particular field of use;
  • A non-exclusive license allows the invention’s use by multiple entities within the same field of use.

A license may cover one or more patented, or patent pending, inventions as well as unpatented biological materials or software. The licensee may be required to pay licensing fees and make royalty payments, the frequency and amount of which are determined as part of the licensing application’s negotiation process:

  • Payments and royalties are based in part on the type of license required and other factors associated with the market value of the product or service commercialized from the licensed.

A business development plan must be submitted as part of the license application process, and serves as the basis for establishing performance benchmarks that are included in the license agreement. Once a license is awarded, the NIST Technology Partnerships Office (TPO) works closely with licensees to monitor performance and to adjust benchmarks, when appropriate, to facilitate successful commercial launch of the product or service derived from the licensed invention;

Licensees are required to provide periodic reports on their “use of” or “commercialization efforts for” a licensed invention:

  • These reports are kept confidential, to the extent permitted by law;

The license is revocable under specific circumstances, such as (but not limited to): non-use of the patent, material breach of the terms, failure to comply with governing regulations, or failure to satisfy certain specified Federal needs.

For information about the licensing process for NIST, see our Licensing Process and Policies page.

Created September 11, 2009, Updated October 12, 2023