Intellectual Property Management
Legislation providing NASA authority to transfer technology also requires NASA to establish and protect the Government's rights in inventions to which NASA has title. Accordingly, large business contractors are required to submit New Technology Reports of inventions made in performance of contracts with NASA. Similarly, NASA civil servant scientists and engineers are also required to report technologies they create. NASA is obliged to facilitate, monitor, and enforce reporting of new technologies and ensure that it either elects to patent or at least considers patenting the technologies for subsequent licensing to the public for commercial and social benefit.
The Innovative Partnerships Office (IPO) carries out these functions for NASA through aggressive in-reach as well as by working closely with NASA patent counsel at each of field center to assess technologies for commercial likelihood and make patenting decisions accordingly.
IPO seeks potential licensees and negotiates license agreements to transfer patented NASA technology. Licensing terms are negotiated on a case-by-case basis, although technology fields of use are defined as narrowly as practical in every case; exclusive licenses are uncommon, but still possible in exceptional cases. IPO also facilitates the reporting of new technologies by both NASA and contractor inventors, as well as assesses the commercial potential and strategic value of those technologies to NASA’s missions.
New Technology Reporting →
Electronic New Technology Reporting →
Reporting for Parties Under NASA Funding Agreements →