The Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Research Alliances (IPIRA) has the mission of enhancing the research enterprise of the Berkeley campus by establishing multifaceted collaborations and corresponding agreements with companies. IPIRA's two divisions, the Industry Alliances Office and Office of Technology Licensing, offer many opportunities for companies to engage with UC Berkeley’s world-class programs, researchers, and innovations.


License Agreement

A license agreement provides a company the right to commercially use intellectual property such as a patent or copyright. The agreement spells out the financial and legal terms under which the University grants the licensee rights to commercially utilize this intellectual property so as to benefit society and the general economy.

Option Agreement

An option agreement provides a company a time-limited right to obtain a full license agreement by “exercising” the option to obtain this license. Options are typically used in instances where the company would like to do further research and development to evaluate the technology prior to entering into a full license agreement. One of the key differences between an option and license agreement is that the former does not allow the company to commercially market and sell the technology.

Letter of Intent

A letter of intent (LOI) provides a company with a time-limited negotiation period in which to negotiate a license agreement. It is typically used in instances where the company would like to “lock up” the intellectual property rights while conducting due diligence or speaking with investors and other potential partners.

Unfunded Research Collaboration

An unfunded research collaboration agreement spells out the terms and conditions associated with a collaboration with industry around a research project. Unlike a sponsored research agreement, an unfunded research collaboration agreement does not include a provision for funding from the company.

Sponsored Research Agreement

Sponsored research agreements are used when a company is going to fund a research project at a lab at the University. It spells out various items such as the scope of work of the project, the budget and various legal terms and conditions. For more information on sponsored research agreements please visit Industry Sponsored Research.

Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

Material transfer agreements (MTAs) are used to govern the sharing of tangible research materials (e.g. mice, antibodies, computer chips, software code, etc.) between the University and outside entities such as companies and other research institutions. For more information on material transfer agreements please visit Transferring Research Materials.

Inter-Institutional Agreement/IP Management Agreement

Inter-institutional agreements (IIA’s) or IP Management Agreement are used in instances where an invention is jointly made by a University employee and someone from outside the University. It spells out which party will take the lead on patenting and licensing the resultant intellectual property as well as various other terms.

Visiting Scientist Agreement (VSA)

Visiting scientist agreements (VSAs) are signed by people from outside institutions or companies who will be doing work here at the University. They are put in place before the visiting scientists starts at the University and spell out items like the scope of the project, ownership of any resultant IP, how long the scientist will be at the University, etc.

For more information, visit our FAQs page or Contact Us

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