Service Commitment

USC Stevens Center for Innovation is committed to advancing the creative thinking and breakthrough research at USC for societal impact beyond traditional academic means. We focus on the licensing of technologies, expanding industry collaborations, and supporting start-ups. To achieve this goal, USC Stevens offers a service commitment for commercialization activities, including timely communication with the inventors of the technology, and clearly articulated processes and procedures.

1. Communication with Inventors

USC Stevens is committed to communicating our procedures and processes to the USC research community in a clear and concise manner. Information about our processes can be found here. In addition, the USC Stevens team is committed to in person meetings with faculty and their research teams to discuss the processes and answer questions.

2. Review of Invention Disclosures

  • Review within 30 days of receipt

USC Stevens is committed to reviewing all complete disclosures within 30 days of receipt. In order to facilitate the disclosure process, USC Stevens launched an online disclosure portal earlier this year. Click here for a link to this portal for disclosing new inventions.

The disclosure review process shall include a conversation between the assigned Licensing Officer from USC Stevens and the inventors of the technology. During that conversation, the Licensing Officer will gather additional information to help us evaluate the market opportunity, as well as potential partners. Based on the information that is gathered during this conversation, as well as our own research regarding potential commercial value and prior art, USC Stevens will make a decision on whether to file an initial patent application covering the technology. This decision will be communicated to the inventors within 24 hrs. For decisions regarding the ongoing prosecution of patents, USC Stevens will commit to informing the inventors of go/no go decisions at least 60 days in advance of any deadlines, provided that USC Stevens has received notice at least 90 days in advance of such deadline.

3. Negotiation of License and Other Agreements

USC Stevens will conduct all negotiations in a professional and expeditious manner. We are committed to the education of USC Stevens’ staff and to completing our negotiations using best practices established by professional societies such as the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). The time to complete negotiations varies depending on agreement and partner. USC Stevens will provide information on the status of negotiations in Sophia, and notify inventors on important milestones.

4. Material Transfer Agreements

  • Draft agreement to other party within three days of receipt of all required information

USC Stevens is committed to completing Material Transfer Agreements in a timely manner, utilizing our online portal. Once USC Stevens has all of the required information from the requestor, we are committed to preparing a draft agreement and sending it to the other party within three business days.

5. Sponsored Research Agreements

Industry Engagement

USC Stevens is committed to increasing industry engagement with USC faculty through:

  • Development of an understanding of the research capabilities of USC faculty in order to build mutually beneficial relationships with industry.
  • Communication of industry needs and strategic areas of interest to USC faculty and to work with faculty to develop an action plan for industry engagement.
  • Coordination of in-person meetings and crafting partnering strategies that reflect shared interests to facilitate corporate research funding agreements.
  • Interface with the Department of Contracts and Grants, the General Counsel’s Office and USC Stevens’ legal team to expedite funded research agreements.

For more information, contact the Corporate Collaborations team.

Intellectual Property Terms Review

  •  Review and redline IP terms within five business days

USC Stevens reviews unusual intellectual property terms in sponsored projects agreements and service agreements originating from the Department of Contracts and Grants, the Clinical Trials Office and the General Counsel’s Office. IP review is ordinarily completed in parallel with other contract review steps. USC Stevens is committed to review and redline the IP terms in agreements within five business days of receipt, provided that USC Stevens has received any required input from third parties.

6. Education of Faculty and Researchers

  • USC Stevens is committed to providing seminars relating to technology commercialization for USC faculty and students. USC Stevens will hold seminars on topics such as working with USC Stevens, the patent prosecution process, and venture capital.
  • USC Stevens is also committed to holding meetings with its faculty and researchers. Upon request, we will set up a meeting with a faculty member, a lab or other group to give a presentation regarding our procedures and to answer questions.
  • USC Stevens provides a service called “Legal Office Hours” for the USC research community, which provides complimentary legal assistance, counseling and information materials to all USC innovators (faculty, staff, students and alumni) and start-up companies. Our services are on-campus and are provided by qualified corporate and intellectual property attorneys. More information on Legal Office Hours can be found here.

 Legal assistance currently available includes, but is not limited to:

  • Patent searches and provisional/non-provisional patent applications
  • Patent processing
  • Patent protection
  • IP ownership
  • Trademark and Copyright applications
  • Drafting articles of incorporation
  • Drafting bylaws for Corporations (for profit and non-profit)
  • Contract drafting and contract review
  • Creating Limited Liability Companies and Corporations
  • Reviewing business plans

Additional information regarding our services and procedures can be found throughout the USC Stevens Website. For any questions regarding the USC Stevens Service Commitment, or to provide feedback regarding our service, please contact our Executive Director, Jennifer Dyer.