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The University of Kentucky licenses its intellectual property for use by business and industry (the university never "sells" the intellectual property). Licensing can happen at the same time as patenting; the university does not need an issued patent to license its IP. UK usually takes one of the following approaches to structuring an IP license agreement; royalties, license initiation fee, milestone payments, or equity in the company.
The Office for Commercialization & Economic Development works with faculty, staff and student inventors to identify potential licensees. Often UK inventors will license their own IP and develop the technology in a start-up company.
After patent costs are recovered, UK returns royalties according to the following formula:
- 40% to the inventors
- 20% to the department
- 20% to the college
- 20% reinvested in the commercial development of university-based technologies and technology-based businesses through the Office for Commercialization & Economic Development