Intellectual Property

Sharing and Licensing Intellectual Property

What are the concerns?

The U.S. Government is concerned about transfers of U.S. government-funded or internally funded sensitive intellectual property (IP) to international parties, including IP that may be transferred through commercialization programs. While technology which is placed into the public domain (e.g., either through patent filing, publication or conference presentation) falls outside the scope of the export control regulations, proprietary technology which is the result of fundamental research (e.g., proprietary “know-how”) which is neither in the public domain nor intended for publication is subject to export control regulations.


As with any commercial vendor, commercial licensing of university-patented IP triggers required restricted party screening requirements to ensure that the transaction does not result in the transfer of technology to a party listed on the on one of the U.S. Government’s restricted party lists.

In parallel, CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.) regulations require notification of international investments into the University that could trigger the transfer of critical technologies by the university to that investing entity. 

Princeton’s Actions:

To address the above concerns, the Export Control program works closely with the Office of Technology Licensing to: 

  • Review invention disclosures that may involve the transfer of technology to an overseas party.
  • Review proposed licenses to/from an international entity.
  • Conduct restricted party screening for international parties named to an agreement.