Option & License Agreements

What do I need before I can begin?

Know what intellectual property is being optioned or licensed. Visit License U of T Technologies to browse technologies available for licensing.


The Innovations & Partnership Office grants options or licenses for University of Toronto owned technology and intellectual property (IP). A license gives a company commercial rights to the technology so they can make, use or sell a product based on the IP. The university maintains a searchable database of technology and IP available for licensing. The licensee could be either an existing company or a startup that demonstrates the technical and financial capabilities to successfully develop the technology into commercial products or services.

University technologies are typically early stage and require further investment and technical development by the licensee before a commercial product is ready for the market. The company representative for the negotiation should be knowledgeable about both the company's technology needs and business strategy. Whenever possible, to prevent any real or perceived conflict of interest, the company representative(s) should not be the university inventor(s).

Option & Evaluation Agreements

If a company is not yet financially positioned to fully support a license or if the company wants to test the technology before licensing an option agreement, or an option and evaluation agreement, is possible. During the term of the option the University will not give rights to other parties. This provides the company time to procure funds with the knowledge that the technology will be available for licensing at the end of the option period. If the company wants to perform a technical evaluation during the option period, an option and evaluation agreement is more appropriate. These agreements take less time to negotiate and provide the company with what it needs to move forward.

License Agreements

The licensing terms will reflect the fact that most licensees will need to invest substantial time and money into product development. Exclusivity, field of use, subdivision of patent rights, and sublicensing provisions are tools available to shape the license. Running royalties, license issue fees, provision of equity and other terms are tailored to match a licensee's needs, the University’s mandate and the realities of the market.

A key goal of the University is to ensure licensed inventions can make a positive socioeconomic impact in the region and the world. Following global access principles and startup venture licensing guidelines helps achieve this goal.

To license University technologies and IP please contact the Innovations Team at

Forms & Downloads


  • Effective and efficient technology transfer from lab to market
  • Support the development of startup companies
  • Negotiate license agreements with interested companies
  • Assist in finding partners and funding to support proof-of-concept and commercialization
  • Support long-term relationships with strategic partners that help develop early-stage discoveries into market-ready technologies and products

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