Abstract

Technology licensing officers play an important role in influencing the commercialization of university inventions. Because the rights to inventions of faculty, staff and students at U.S. universities belong to the institutions where the inventions were made, technology licensing officers regulate which inventions are commercialized through the creation of spinoff companies. Anecdotal evidence indicates that licensing officers are influenced by the characteristics of the inventors who disclose those inventions. To examine the effect of faculty member characteristics on the support licensing officers give to spinoff company creation, we conducted a randomized experiment with 239 technology licensing officers at 88 Carnegie I research universities in the United States. Our experiment reveals that licensing officers are negatively disposed to (disclosures by) female inventors and positively disposed to (disclosures by) Chinese-named Asian inventors with industry experience who are easy to work with. We discuss the implications of these findings for university technology commercialization.

Share

COinS