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University Intellectual Property (IP) is often the results of Fundamental Research and is not subject to export regulations. However, some IP is the product of Restricted Research and is subject to control. Transactions related to licensing restricted IP to a foreign person/ entity may implicate export controls. Related transactions include:
- Allowing foreign persons (including university personnel) to review an internal IP disclosure, where the subject technology is the product of restricted research
- Sharing Provisional and/or unpublished patent applications with a foreign person, where the subject technology is the product of restricted research
- Discussing Restricted IP with a foreign collaborator or potential licensee
- Sharing an Invention Disclosure or other IP-marketing material with a foreign person, where the subject technology is the product of restricted research
- Licensing Restricted IP to a foreign person or entity
- Licensing IP (restricted or unrestricted) to a Restricted Party
Before sharing University IP with a foreign person or entity, University personnel should do the following:
- Ensure that the proposed recipient and/or licensee is not a Restricted Party, using a Visual Compliance search. If you do not have access to Visual Compliance, please contact Export Control.
- Work with ORED to ensure that IP is properly identified and documented.
- Determine whether the IP is the result of Restricted or Fundamental Research. The Export Office can help with this determination.
- For IP that is Restricted, determine the Jurisdiction and Classification of the technology. Contact the Export Office for assistance with this determination, if not already known.
- Work with the Export Office to verify that Restricted IP may be licensed and/or transferred to the recipient without an export license.
Researchers who license IP, including IP that is the product of Fundamental Research, must be cautious about further technology development when that technology is developed with or for a corporate licensee. Often such development is subject to restrictions on publication and is therefore Restricted Research (even if the original technology qualified as Fundamental Research). Researchers can work with ORED and the Export Office to ensure that future development of technology does not unknowingly implicate export controls.
Foreign Influence in Intellectual Property Transfers
Recently, the U.S. government has exhibited increased concern around U.S. generated intellectual property that is inappropriately passed to foreign entities. Such transfers may occur during the course of a research project proposal, project or thesis review, or publication review. At times, foreign entity review may be predicated on a researcher’s willingness to share non-public information.
FIU personnel should ensure that only public, uncontrolled information is shared with foreign entities. Where information has not yet been made public, researchers may be required to notify sponsors prior to sharing such information with foreign parties, even where the information results from fundamental Research.
For more information on identifying and addressing inappropriate foreign influence, please contact Export Control, ORED, or FIU Compliance and Integrity.