Researchers often contact the Stevens Center for assistance with the items listed below, but these are all outside the Stevens Center’s purview. Please consult the “Responsibilities” page of the USC Office of Research website for a complete list of support services for USC researchers.

Items not handled by the Stevens Center include:

While we may provide some info for these, we do not help to draft language or execute consulting agreements for individual researchers — for example, a researcher who establishes a business advisory or consulting relationship with an outside company or non-USC entity. We also do not review nor give legal advice on personal consulting agreements.

One of our core services is helping USC researchers with confidential disclosure agreements (CDAs) when the impetus is for protection, disclosure, and licensing of USC assets, intellectual property, discoveries, and patents. However, we do not handle confidentiality agreements needed for other reasons, such as for consulting arrangements or human resources. For details, visit our CDA webpage.

We do not seek or administer gift letters and agreements or other types of donor-based funding. These are handled directly through University Advancement departments within USC schools, or separately via gift agreements with an individual researcher or researcher’s lab. Refer to “University Advancement” on the “Responsibilities” page of the USC Office of Research website.

We do not assist with drafting language for grant applications.

While we do host a student startup competition every Fall (USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase) for undergraduate and graduate-level students, we generally do not provide intellectual property, invention, and commercialization support to USC students where intellectual property is not owned by the university. Our office only handles intellectual property and discoveries made at USC using USC resources (such as NIH or federal research grants).

USC students are welcome, however, to receive a complimentary consultation during our Legal Office Hours with an attorney who specializes in Intellectual Property and/or Startup formation.

While we do transactional work to facilitate the process for USC researchers and inventors to license USC-based intellectual property to develop the technology further within their own startup companies, we do not perform activities or duties where we represent or act on behalf of the startup company. This includes, but is not limited to, incorporating or setting up the startup as a legal business entity, advising on tax issues, finding a CEO or accountant for the startup, or providing services that an accelerator or incubator would typically offer.

We may recommend services, including consultation with our Legal Office Hours attorneys who specializes in intellectual property and/or startup formation.

While the Stevens Center assists and advises other USC departments with intellectual property terms contained within Sponsored Research Agreements, we are not the lead on negotiating and drafting these agreements. We may, however, be the first point of contact for inquiring about where to start when companies —  such as pharmaceutical and technology companies) are interested in establishing a Sponsored Research Agreement or arrangement with a researcher.

Please refer to “Department of Contracts and Grants,” “Office of General Counsel,” and “Sponsored Projects Accounting” sections on the “Responsibilities” page of the USC Office of Research website.

Refer to “Department of Purchasing Services” on the “Responsibilities” page of the USC Office of Research website.

For questions related to licensing of USC logos and trademarks, or licensing and use of the University of Southern California name and/or logos, visit the USC Trademarks and Licensing Services (TLS) website.