Inventions or innovations are transferred to practice in two ways. The first is by licensing/assigning intellectual property rights, and the second by establishing a spin-out company (Also see the question: “What is a spin-out company?”)
A license contract confers the right to commercial exploitation of the licensed property to a third party. The holder of the right (the licensor) remains the owner, while the other party (the licensee) is only granted the right to use the licensed property. The scope of this permission is negotiated by both parties and defined in the contract. The subject of the licence contract can include industrial property rights (patents, trademarks, models), rights registrations (e.g. patent applications), software, and know-how etc.
Transfer of intellectual property rights, where the ownership of industrial property rights or proprietary rights over knowledge/technology is transferred to another party, is characteristic to another type of contracts. A typical transfer of rights contract is the assignment contract. The contracting parties are the transferor (e.g. the assignor) and the acquirer (e.g. the assignee or buyer), who becomes the new rights owner or the owner of another subject of the transfer contract. The parties often conclude a so-called reverse license agreement, whereby the previous owner (the transferor or assignor/seller) maintains the right to use the subject of the contract.
Generally, the University uses this type of contract when it does not intend to market the knowledge, i.e. the right, on its own, using its own channels and means. Furthermore, this type of transfer provides an immediate financial return to the University. Following a successful contractual transfer of rights or knowledge, the new owner is registered at the Intellectual Property or Patent Office, when this is required by law.