HOW WE TREAT OUR FILES
When an invention is made/conceived by a researcher or a research team, it should be reported to their university’s technology transfer office, in accordance with the agreement of the university for which they work. It is important to do so as early in the R & D cycle as possible and before any public disclosure (1) so as not to jeopardize the chances of the invention obtaining patent protection.
The technology transfer office will then create a file describing the invention, any participating researchers and their respective contribution to the invention, and any contract or legal document that restricts the commercialization rights of the invention (e.g. rights belonging to a private company that funded R & D). This file is called an invention disclosure (ID).
Our valuation process begins when a ID is received. Each project is first subject to a preliminary assessment that does not last more than 45 days from the date of receipt of the ID. This assessment focuses on four dimensions:
Preliminary technical and commercial evaluation:
The technical and commercial evaluation is entrusted to one of our business development officers and the results are presented to the joint Investment and Business Development team. Together they decide whether to continue with the commercialization of the invention.
Protection of the intellectual property of the invention:
Following this decision, the business development manager begins to identify customers and/or end users of the products of the invention and contact them either on a non-confidential basis or under the protection of a confidentiality agreement to gauge commercial interest. If these stakeholders require more information to assess their interest, the business development manager must obtain the approval of the Aligo’s management to file a patent or any other form of protection such as a copyright, trademark, or simply a trade secret. The researcher(s) are involved in ensuring that any requests accurately reflect their invention.
Maturation of the invention:
In many cases, the market is not ready for the invention in its current state and requests are made to see a working prototype, a prototype that addresses a particular problem, a manufacturing process that is proven after industrial scale-up, or in vitro preclinical results, etc. The business development manager will then develop with the researchers and, in some cases, technology transfer offices the most appropriate applications for funding to further develop the invention. Subsequent maturation of the invention will be worked on by both the business development manager and the researcher(s).
Finally, with an invention that has been developed to a desired state for the market, the decision to (1) license it to existing companies or (2) start a business to commercialize it is made by Aligo’s joint business development and investment team according to the following criteria:
Once decided, the business development manager is responsible for negotiating and concluding all legal aspects (with the support of Aligo’s legal service) and the terms of any license, for hiring team leaders in the case of a startup, and seeking initial financing, including financing by Aligo’s Investment group if necessary.
Finally, throughout subsequent years, the business development manager will check in to ensure that the commercialization of the invention is proceeding as planned and will take the necessary measures to protect the rights of the researcher(s) and the university.
(1) Public disclosure is written or oral communication about the invention with anyone who did not sign a confidentiality agreement.
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