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Tangible Research Property (TRP)

TRP are research products that are not patented or otherwise protected by formal intellectual property, but that are difficult and/or expensive to create. TRP includes such items as: biological materials, engineering drawings, computer software, integrated circuit chips, computer databases, prototype devices, circuit diagrams, equipment and associated research data. OTL can license these materials to commercial entities with protective clauses for the university and royalty payments. The University's TRP policy promotes the prompt and open exchange of tangible items produced in the course of Stanford research projects with scientific colleagues outside the investigator's immediate laboratory.

Outgoing Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)

Stanford and OTL have endorsed a policy regarding the distribution of tangible research materials. This policy encourages faculty and others who are interested in distributing materials to their colleagues in academia and non-profit institutions, or those in the commercial sector who only use materials for research purposes, to provide the materials with no additional paperwork.

If there is still an interest in attaching paperwork with the materials, we have a brief letter agreement that may be sent along with the materials.

If you will be sending materials to an industry colleague, and you are not sure whether they will restrict their use to research only, there are two paths that you could choose:

  1. Have your colleague fill out an MTA that restricts their use of the materials to research or evaluation purposes only. This document should be signed by an authorized official of the company and by OTL.
  2. Contact OTL about possible licensing/commercialization of the materials.

In addition, OTL has entered into an arrangement with ATCC whereby they may be able to distribute the materials for you. Please contact OTL for further information regarding this program.

If a recipient of materials requests any changes to the agreement, you are welcome to evaluate the request and accept or reject the change. If you have any questions about the agreement, or are unsure whether to accept the change, please feel free to consult with OTL about the legal terms.

Information about incoming MTAs is available from the Industrial Contracts Office.