» Commercialization (Technology Licensing)

The Office of Research works to commercialize Chapman innovations by assessing their market potentials, securing intellectual property protections, and partnering with the appropriate companies to bring these innovations to market. In collaboration with the Office of Legal Affairs, the Office of Research negotiate technology license agreements with companies to grant them the necessary rights to develop Chapman’s intellectual property into products/services and bring them to market.

For Chapman researchers who receive federal grants for their research, per the Bayh-Dole Act, inventions arising from federally funded research projects are required to be reported to the government that funded the project. This reporting is done by disclosing the invention to Chapman’s Office of Research.


While every commercialization project is different, the process generally follows these stages: 

Stage 1: Invention Disclosure

Chapman researchers disclose their inventions by completing the confidential Invention Disclosure Form and returning the completed form to the Director of Industry Alliances & Commercialization at lalau@chapman.edu. Please answer each question to the best of your ability as it will greatly help with the assessment of your invention.

Stage 2: Technology Review

We conduct a review of the disclosed invention to determine if we should proceed with patenting the invention. This involves a review of the invention disclosure, an interview with the inventor, market research, documenting the review, and presenting the review to the Intellectual Property Committee consisting of the Executive Vice President & COO, the VP of Legal Affairs, the VP of Research, and a Chapman faculty member. The IP Committee makes the patenting decision.

Stage 3: Intellectual Property Protection

If the IP Committee decides to patent the invention, the Office of Legal Affairs will engage outside counsel to file a patent application. 

Stage 4: Marketing Your Invention

We will develop a nonconfidential marketing summary of your invention and present it to our industry contacts to get feedback on the technology.

Stage 5: Ongoing Assessment

The patenting process can be costly (in the tens of thousands of dollars range) and can take years.  For licensed technology, the licensee bears the patenting expenses. For unlicensed technology, we will regularly assess the patenting investment based on evolving commercialization prospects.

Stage 6: Licensing

If a prospect (either an established company or a start-up company) decides to license an invention from Chapman, it will present a commercialization plan and negotiate business terms with the Office of Research. From there, in collaboration with the Legal Affairs Office, the Office of Research prepares a formal agreement draft, negotiates, and ultimately executes the license with the company.

Stage 7: Commercial Development

Depending on the nature of an invention, its market potentials, and stage of development, the path to markets varies. Under the terms of the license agreement, the licensee (company) is required to commercialize the invention and provide regular progress report to the university on its commercialization activities.

Stage 8: License Income

Licensing incomes received by Chapman under the license agreement are shared with Chapman inventors, their departments, and their schools in accordance with Chapman University’s Inventions and Patents Policy

If you have any questions on the commercialization process or on disclosing an invention, please contact Lawrence Lau, Director of Industry Alliances and Commercialization at lalau@chapman.edu or (714) 628-2875.