Frequently Asked Questions

What services does the Zucker Institute for Innovation Commercialization provide to the Medical University of South Carolina?

The Zucker Institute provides many services to MUSC, including the following:

  • Evaluation of technologies disclosed by MUSC researchers
  • Management of the patent and copyright portfolios
  • Marketing of technologies to commercial partners
  • Negotiation, execution, and maintenance of license agreements for the intellectual property rights to MUSC technologies
  • Help with MUSC startups, and SCTR, SCRA and SBIR/STTR granting programs

I am interested in licensing the Zucker Institute technology. Whom do I contact?

Please contact

Does the Zucker Institute manage corporate sponsored research?

No. Companies wishing to sponsor research at MUSC may contact the MUSC Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Although, the Zucker Institute does take into consideration the amount of sponsored research funding provided by a licensee when determining the valuation of a license agreement.

Will the Zucker Institute assign intellectual property instead of licensing it?

Intellectual Property arising from research at MUSC is offered for commercialization via option and license agreements only. Intellectual property generated using federal funding is prohibited from being assigned by U.S. law. Even if a technology was created without the use of federal funds, option and license agreements best serve the mission of the Zucker Institute and MUSC.

Does the Zucker Institute offer option agreements?

Yes. If a company is interested in further evaluation and testing of a technology, option agreements are available. Optionees pay a modest upfront option fee, an option exercise fee and all related patent and/or copyright expenses during the term of the option agreement.

If I license a patent application, will the Zucker Institute guarantee the patent will issue?

No. Patent prosecution is difficult to predict and the laws vary from country to country. The Zucker Institute encourages all potential licensees to confer with a third-party patent attorney to better appreciate the risks involved with patent prosecution before a license agreement is signed.

Does the Zucker Institute provide freedom to operate analyses?

No. Such in-depth legal analyses become quickly outdated as new art and patent applications come to light. The Zucker Institute encourages all potential licensees to confer with a third-party patent attorney to conduct such an analysis during due diligence.

Is the Zucker Institute a subsidiary of MUSC?

No. The Zucker Institute is a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit entity that provides technology transfer services to the Medical University of South Carolina.

What is the Bayh Dole Act?

The “Bayh-Dole Act” is Title 35, Sections 200-212 of the United States Code. Among other things, these provisions provide the U.S. government with non-exclusive rights to patents arising from federal funding.

Do the inventors or authors benefit from option and license agreements?

Yes. The MUSC Intellectual Property Policy (PDF) calls for net proceeds to be distributed to inventors/authors, their labs, their departments, their colleges and the university.