Technology Licensing Office (TLO)

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Activating a National Ecosystem for Manufacturing Advanced Functional Fibers and Fabrics
Jan/06 Thu 01:00PM–02:00PM

Recent breakthroughs in fiber and textile materials and manufacturing processes is enabling the transformation of traditional fibers, yarns and fabrics into highly sophisticated, integrated, and networked systems. Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), one of the 9 Department of Defense-sponsored Manufacturing USA Institutes, sits at the nexus of innovation of traditionally disparate fields – that of textiles and micro-electronics - facilitating transition of innovation across the manufacturing “valley of death” and bringing the commercialization of advanced functional fabric systems closer to reality. This presentation will include an overview of AFFOA’s advanced fabrics ecosystem, and specific examples on how the Institute facilitates the manufacturing evolution of selected functional fabric systems will be provided. Situated a short what from MIT Campus and founded by MIT innovators, AFFOA is excited about partnering with MIT faculty, staff, and students to transition their ideas from the lab into high-impact, commercial reality.


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MIT Kerb Required

Author Rights Workshop
Jan/20 Thu 03:00PM–04:30PM

When you publish in scholarly journals, you’re usually required to give up some rights in your work. In this seminar, MIT librarians Katharine Dunn and Katie Zimmerman will show you what to look for in author contracts and discuss ways to retain rights to share and reuse your work, including via MIT's open access policies.


Katharine Dunn is a scholarly communications librarian at MIT, helping researchers and students make their work more openly available.
Katie Zimmerman is the Director of Copyright Strategy for the MIT Libraries, helping the libraries and the MIT community make informed copyright decisions.

Basics of Copyrights, Data, and Software
Jan/14 Fri 10:00AM–11:30AM

It has been said that content is king. Copyrighted works – whether media, software, or art – are a major portion of the world’s creative, intellectual, and economic output. As such, copyright issues affect musicians, artists, authors, and software programmers alike. 
This popular talk offers a fun and interesting look at the protection of your creative works of authorship whether developed in the lab at MIT or elsewhere.
Join Daniel Dardani, Technology Licensing Officer and intellectual property expert, for an overview of copyright law and consider its history, practice, and relevance to your world and to the MIT community.  Daniel will explore topics including: the nature of originality, fair use, open source, how copyrights can be licensed in the digital age, and others.

Basics of Fair Use
Jan/07 Fri 03:00PM–04:30PM

New things are built on what came before.  If your work uses copyrighted material, you should know about fair use.  What are your rights with regard to prior works?  What requires permission and what doesn’t?  This session will cover the basics of fair use for copyrighted works, so that you know your rights whether you are text mining the scientific literature, adapting a song, or sharing an image you found online. 

Basics of Obtaining a Patent
Jan/14 Fri 01:00PM–02:30PM

The issuance of a patent is often seen as an inventor's most notable achievement, but do you know what it takes to apply for and be issued a patent? This session will review the criteria required and the process by which inventions are assessed by the USPTO to determine if creative works are patentable.
Jonathan Hromi, Associate Director, IP, Laura Lapsley, Senior IP Paralegal, and Caitlyn Ward, Technology Licensing Associate, all of the MIT Technology Licensing Office (TLO), will discuss the basics of the patent application process, the history and context surrounding patents as a means of protecting commercialization rights, as well as share about the policy and practice of MIT's patenting activities. They'll share insights into how the TLO engages in this process in support of entrepreneurial engagement at MIT.

Commercialization of MIT Technology
Jan/27 Thu 01:00PM–02:30PM

Have you ever wondered how technology that’s developed in universities and other academic institutions gets translated into a product to benefit the public? This process is known as technology transfer, and research organizations all over the world utilize teams of tech transfer professionals to evaluate new inventions, protect intellectual property through a patenting process, and license the technology to third parties, such as start-up companies or corporations, for further investment in development and commercialization.

At MIT, the Technology Licensing Office (TLO) supports MIT inventors throughout this process and plays a vital role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

You'll hear from Technology Licensing Officers Lauren C. Foster and Deirdre Zammit and learn the strategic approach MIT takes to move innovations from the research bench to the marketplace.

Computational Access and Use of Texts and Data behind Paywalls: Challenges and Resources 
Jan/25 Tue 11:30AM–01:00PM

The rise of applied data science, digital humanities, machine learning, and artificial intelligence has resulted in an increased need for computational access and reuse of research data and publications, many of which are only available behind paywalls and governed by restrictive terms of use. What can you do with proprietary sources, how do you gain access, and how can you make your own research output from such sources shareable are questions that many are asking. Join three experts from the MIT Libraries in this session to learn about the copyright and contractual implications of paywalled data sources and how you can use them and share your results.

MIT Kerberos Required to register. 

Conflict of Interest and Startups at MIT
Jan/26 Wed 01:00PM–02:30PM

MIT’s sponsored research exceeds $750M annually, with funding received from federal agencies, private foundations, and industry. MIT also has a global reputation for its startup, innovation, and entrepreneurial culture with 30+ startups launched annually in collaboration with the MIT Technology Licensing Office (TLO).
This seminar is designed to build your financial conflict of interest (fCOI) knowledge base by presenting the history and evolution of the financial conflict of interest in research regulations, providing an overview of the COI process at MIT, and outlining the benefits of a collaborative process with the TLO.
Rupinder Grewal, MIT COI Officer, and Linda Chao, Technology Licensing Officer, will provide historical context and insight into topics, including the discussion of these and other questions:

  • Given the financial drivers of the for-profit world, how does MIT ensure that objectivity is maintained in its fundamental research activities? 
  • How does MIT protect research results from influence when an Investigator has outside financial interests?
  • What kinds of fCOI situations arise in our environment and how do we manage them?
  • How do researchers navigate potential COI issues in startup activities?
Developing Industry-Sponsored Research Agreements
Jan/19 Wed 01:00PM–02:30PM

Are you interested in following an academic research career solving challenging problems across the globe? Industry sponsors around the world can be a rich source of scientific problems and funding for your academic research at MIT or elsewhere. But, have you wondered how to go about securing funding and an agreement? Or, have you found it challenging to get a sponsored research agreement in place?


Our talk will introduce you to key concepts and policies that are involved in developing an agreement with your sponsor. We will explore topics including: technology readiness level (TLR), statement of research work, confidentiality, background/foreground IP, and much more in relation to agreements. Understanding these policies will help smoothen the process at MIT (and elsewhere) and shorten the time to secure an agreement with your industry sponsor.

About the speakers:

Grace Leung joined OSATT in March of 2020. As a Catalyst, Grace works with MIT researchers in engaging with industrial sponsors and collaborators, negotiates the appropriate agreements, and establishes major research alliances. Prior to joining MIT, Grace held positions in technology licensing and business development at Mass General Brigham and Harvard University. She led negotiations and executed early-stage technology licenses and industrial sponsored research agreements, and established intellectual property protection and marketing strategies of life-science innovations. Grace holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Microbiology from Tufts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Michael Leskiw is an Alliance Manager in MIT’s Office of Strategic Alliances & Technology Transfer (OSATT). Michael’s portfolio extends to international engagements with foreign governments, as well as several high-visibility major agreements with multi-national corporations. Michael has been at MIT since 2004 and previously worked in MIT’s sponsored programs office, and prior to that on the operational side ramping up MIT’s largest international research center (based in Singapore) and a collaborative project helping to start a new university in Moscow. Michael is a licensed attorney in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Subarna Basnet PhD, is a Catalyst at Office of Strategic Alliance and Technology Transfer (OSATT), and an expert in technology & design innovation. Previously, as the Director for Design Science, Technology, and Innovation at the MIT International Design Center (IDC), he led efforts in developing research and educational programs for the Center. Prior to MIT, Subarna served in the industry (Bose, Xerox, Softech) for over 20 years, contributing in diverse areas, ranging from research, design and development, manufacturing, and sales. Subarna holds a PhD from MIT in Mechanical Engineering.

Leah Keating is a Senior Strategic Transactions Officer and OSATT’s RAS Liaison. Leah’s responsibilities include supporting and improving coordination between RAS and the OSATT Strategic Transactions Team, as well as negotiating and reviewing research and other sponsored agreements of all kinds. She works closely with teams in RAS and OSATT to support interoffice and inter-team communications and operations, and on developing new or improved agreement workflows. Prior to MIT, Leah was the Director of Research Administration for Harvard Law School for 4 years, where she managed all operations of HLS research administration. efore joining HLS, she was the Associate Director for Technology Transactions for the Office of Technology Development (OTD) at Harvard. At OTD, Leah worked closely with the Office of Sponsored Programs, the sponsored research administration offices for Harvard Medical School. Leah holds a B.A. in French from Hamilton College and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.


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Do Right by Your Research Data
Jan/27 Thu 10:00AM–11:30AM

Congratulations—you’ve got research data! This session will walk you through the dos and don’ts associated with research data and artifacts, all of those associated bits of information necessary to understand research data. These can include structured data, images, unstructured data, metadata, analysis scripts, analysis environment, and much more. We’ll cover the tools and resources available to you for making decisions about your research data (and associated bits) with regard to use agreements, security requirements, and copyright and licensing. We’ll also explore some case studies and do a practical applications exercise.


Amy Nurnberger is the Program Head for Data Management Services at MIT libraries. Amy also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Learning Analytics program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Within the broader research data community, Amy is a co-chair of the Research Data Alliance (RDA)/World Data Services Publishing Data Workflows Working Group and the RDA Education and Training on Handling Research Data Interest Group, and she is the elected co-chair of the RDA Organizational Advisory Board. She also sits on the ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee and the editorial board of Patterns - The Science of Data.

IP Ownership @ MIT
Jan/12 Wed 03:00PM–04:30PM

Like many US Universities, the Institute owns intellectual property that is created during research at MIT. Having a clear understanding of the what, why, and implications of this Policy is paramount. Allison Madden, IPIA Assistant at the MIT Technology Licensing Office, will discuss these items as well as the following:

  • What does it mean for MIT to own intellectual property? 
  • What are the implications of signing the Inventions and Proprietary Information Agreement (IPIA)? 
  • How does this impact entrepreneurship and innovation at MIT?

This seminar offers an overview of intellectual property policy and processes at MIT and its implications for researchers contributing to discovery through MIT intellectual endeavors. Geared towards principal investigators, students, and other potential inventors.

Is it in the Public Domain?
Jan/21 Fri 03:00PM–04:00PM

Explore the public domain in this seminar. When does copyright expire, and how do you know when something is free to use? Katie Zimmerman, Director of Copyright Strategy for MIT Libraries, will discuss the public domain and attendees will put their newly learned skills to use on historical materials from the MIT Libraries.

Learning through Doing: MIT TLO Internship
Jan/05 Wed 03:00PM–04:00PM

Are you interested in the world of Technology Transfer, but unsure of what it is or how to get involved. Join Angela Park, previous TLO Marketing Intern and Robyn Bunch, Marketing & Communications Manager, give an overview of the Technology Licensing Office and how the Marketing Internship Program can help you explore your tech transfer interests. 

Patent (and Other) Protection Available for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Related Inventions
Jan/07 Fri 01:30PM–03:00PM

Join Ben and Dan of the MIT TLO to learn about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the challenges and alternatives to patenting AI. They will also walk you though examples of AI patents and helps answer the question of "Who is the Inventor?"


Ben joined MIT’s Technology Licensing Office as their TLO for Medical Devices 7 years ago following a 30-year career leading product development teams bringing to market new technologies in electronic imaging, medical devices, life sciences instrumentation, and drug development.  His experience spans both large companies and medical device/therapeutic startups.  He holds a B.A. in physics from Carleton College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell University.

Daniel Dardani is a Technology Licensing Officer at the MIT TLO with 18 years of experience managing a large and sophisticated portfolio of computer and software technologies including algorithms, digital imaging, video games, machine learning/AI, and cybertech innovations. Dan has negotiated countless license agreements with companies large and small. Dan is a Certified Licensing ProfessionalTM; is a teaching fellow at Harvard University’s Summer School, and is quick to lend his expertise serving on professional committees and advisory boards in the areas of software, licensing, and intellectual property.

Technology Transfer at Lincoln Laboratory
Jan/12 Wed 11:30AM–01:00PM

MIT Lincoln Laboratory is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center, run by MIT to develop advanced technology in support of national security. For close to 70 years, the Lincoln Laboratory has been developing critical technologies in areas as diverse as radar systems, satellite platforms and payloads, artificial intelligence, quantum information sciences, and synthetic biology, to name a few.
Historically, the Laboratory builds prototypes and transitions that know-how to government sponsors and their industry contractors. For technologies that may also be useful to the civilian sector (so called dual-use), commercialization and open-source distribution are pathways for knowledge sharing. But how and to whom to transfer technologies is not always obvious and engineers are seldom trained as entrepreneurs. 
Join Lou Bellaire, Deputy Technology Ventures Officer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, as he discusses the factors that influence technology transfer from a national laboratory perspective. She is equally interested in your ideas on how to ensure that federally funded research supports economic gains and social well-being on a grand scale.

The Engine: How we Support "Tough Tech" Startups and Make Investment Decisions
Jan/05 Wed 01:00PM–02:30PM

The Engine, built by MIT, is a venture capital firm that invests into "Tough Tech" companies and that provides a variety of services and facilities to those companies and to the greater "tough tech" ecosystem.  This session will cover our approach to investments and how we support companies.

Reed is a General Partner on the investment team at The Engine. He serves as a Board Member for Celestial AI, Hyperlight, Rise Robotics, C2Sense, The Routing Company, Cambridge Electronics, and Emvolon.  Reed was a founder and Managing Director at Project 11 Ventures and Techstars Boston. He attended MIT and has a background in software. He ran Microsoft Startup Labs in Cambridge and was VP of Technology at Idealab, Boston. Early in his career he created Freelance Graphics which was acquired by Lotus Development Corp. He has been a lecturer at MIT Sloan and is a frequent speaker at MIT entrepreneurship courses and programs.

Using Search Tools for Market Research
Jan/10 Mon 01:00PM–02:30PM

When conducting research related to intellectual property, especially in the areas of patents and market research, there are some tools that you should keep in mind. 
In this session, Nick Albaugh, Management and Social Sciences Librarian for Innovation & Entrepreneurship from MIT Libraries, will explain the best tools to use as well as share more about:

  • How to conduct a preliminary patent search using subscription-based and freely available tools
  • How to find the most relevant market research using specialized resources
  • How patent searching can inform market research and vice versa