Laboratory launches online technology store

October 03, 2016

ADELPHI, Md. (Oct. 3, 2016) -- The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is launching an online store to increase public access to ARL intellectual property such as its patents in an effort to convert research into jobs and innovations for the warfighter.

The ARL IP Store is a website that allows users to browse technologies, select a specific opportunity, download the patent and published papers, apply for a license and ultimately receive a license to make, use and sell the technology, all online.

"This is a first-of-kind licensing portal for the DOD," said Thomas Mulkern, chief of the ARL Technology Transfer and Outreach Office. "It's a new way for industry to access the technologies that our scientists and engineers have worked so hard to develop and protect."

The store will open with 20 technologies in the inventory, a fraction of ARL's over 300 active patents, and will include many more in the future. "We had a problem with some of our patents sun-setting before the market was ready for them and before we could adequately market them," said Mulkern, "We're hoping that by placing more of ARL's patented technologies into an online store format that we will increase exposure to these opportunities and lower transaction costs to licensing. This is part of our initiative to lower barriers with small business."

The store is hosted by TechLink. Eventually users will be able to reach the website by visiting the ARL homepage.

"This was a team effort utilizing two of ARL's existing partners in the technology transfer arena — TechLink and Leidos Corp.," said Jason Craley, ARL technology transfer specialist who led the project.

The team began working in January 2016 to identify 40 patents that would be good candidates for the store, notably those approaching their second maintenance fees, when the Army generally requires evidence of commercial interest in order to justify paying the fee. The team selected half of the patented technologies, conducted detailed inventor interviews and gathered marketing.

ARL Patent Attorney Guy Miller notes that while "licensing has traditionally been the domain of attorneys, the process has become more inclusive in the past 30 years." Miller is quick to add that while certain processes--the marketing, technology descriptions, and license applications are online; the legal review and financial transaction are not.

"The synergetic collaboration that created this online store, with stakeholders in mind, adds visibility to high-value Army investments in science and technology," said acting ARL Director Dr. Philip Perconti. "I look forward to seeing our leading-edge basic and applied research accessible to a host of new partners through this platform."

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.


Last Update / Reviewed: October 3, 2016