S&C Obtains Favorable DOJ Antitrust Business Review for Innovative University Patent Pool

January 19, 2021

S&C intellectual property partners Garrard Beeney, Marc De Leeuw and Dustin Guzior advised University Technology Licensing Program LLC (UTLP), a joint initiative of 15 of the country's leading research universities, in launching an innovative patent pool and obtaining a favorable business review letter from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.

UTLP offers a more efficient process for tech companies to obtain licenses to certain inventions in the physical sciences that the universities have patented. In pooling the patents, UTLP will streamline the dissemination of this technology through a “one-stop shop” and promote continued innovation in the marketplace.

In its business review letter, the DOJ's Antitrust Division recognized that any competition concerns presented by the UTLP structure were outweighed by the pro-competitive goals that the program serves and the potential benefit to the public, including increased investment in research by leading universities. “UTLP has the potential to commercialize university inventions that may not otherwise have been licensed or implemented,” the Antitrust Division observed. “Taking into account this significant benefit to UTLP's potential licensors, sublicensees, and the public, and considering the technologies at issue, UTLP's current scale and scope, the efficiencies associated with the program, and potential harms, the Department concludes that UTLP is unlikely to harm competition.”

The participating universities advised by S&C on this initiative are Brown, Caltech, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, University of Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Penn, Princeton, SUNY Binghamton, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, and Yale.