Directory Coverage and Data Definitions

[adapted with minimal changes from the 1994 book]

Coverage is cumulative, including all active and inactive patents, licenses and CRADAs; pending applications (less than four years old; only the most recent one of a series of continuations); and available information about the current status of technologies, licenses, collaborations, commercial development activities, and the strategic partnerships of licensees and collaborators. Most Directory entries, like federal inventions and technology transfer activities, are recent with over 75% of inventions since 1990 and 75% of CRADAs presumed active. Over 90% of its entries are relevant to therapeutic or diagnostic uses or technologies.

Some conventions used in the database include:

Agency/lab assignment - Entries are assigned to only one agency/lab (as presented in the book).

Licenses - "Invention licenses" or patent licenses are reported rather than licensing packages. Each distinct intellectual property (U.S. patent or application) licensed to an organization and its level of exclusivity is considered an "invention license " (i.e., invention-organization-exclusivity linkages define an invention license). Related inventions are sometimes licensed together in a "license" package (and these inventions are cross-referenced in the Directory). The term "license" is often used to broadly refer to a licensed technology or license package (that may involve one or more invention licenses), referring to the "license" as the legal document or the act of transferring the intellectual property. The Directory concentrates on inventions and their licenses granted (invention licenses).

Invention license data are reported in charts (e.g. in the About Federal Bio-Technology Transfer section with the total number of patent/application licenses granted followed by the number of exclusive licenses in parentheses, e.g., "235 (116)" indicates 235 total invention licenses granted including 116 exclusive licenses. Patents co-assigned to a and organization and a federal agency/lab (less than 10% of licenses) are counted as nonexclusive licenses under the presumption that the co-assignee likely has considerable rights, access or control of a technology comparable to that of a licensee.

"Exclusive licensing" means that exclusivity has been granted. This may be only for a specific field of use, or the invention may be co-exclusively licensed (exclusive licensing is shared, often between competing companies). Exclusive licensing does not not necessarily mean that an invention is not available for licensing by others, e.g., for other fields of use, territories, etc. For example, a tumor growth factor could be licensed exclusively by one company for therapeutics use, co-exclusively by several companies for diagnostics use or for sale as a reagent, and by multiple licensees for screening potential therapeutics. However, in most cases, exclusive licensing effectively protects the licensee from others using this same technology or developing the same products.

Classifications and Indexing - Entries are indexed with as many claimed and potential technologies and applications (uses) as are relevant. Thus, inventions classed as "treatments" usually involve therapeutic agents or treatments but may involve related or supporting technologies/uses, such as screening assays, materials having biological activity, medical apparatus/devices used for treatment, etc.

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