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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships

Software Startup Licensing Terms

We hope that every startup based on software created by U-M researchers becomes a U-M-licensed startup. Accordingly, we were the first university in the country to adopt equity-only licenses for VC-track software startups. While we are happy to adapt our terms to a startup’s particular circumstances, the following is our general framework for software startup licenses.

Our Licensing Models:

“Lite” License

  • Software developed without direct support of U-M funds/facilities, but related to a researcher’s work at U-M;
  • Software substantially comprised of open-sourced code; or
  • Primarily know-how generated at U-M
Up-Front Fee
None
Royalty
None
Annual Fee
None
Equity
1%

“Standard” License

  • Software that was substantially developed at U-M (e.g, in a U-M lab or with funds administered by U-M)
Up-Front Fee
None
Royalty
None
Annual Fee
None
Equity
4%

“Custom” License

  • Patent rights covering invention;
  • Significant internal investment in code development; or
  • Data rights licensed along with code
Up-Front Fee
None
Royalty
None
Annual Fee
None
Equity
TBD%

Benefits of Innovation Partnership License:

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Other Startup Support
Why License U-M Software
Specifics About Equity Provisions (U-M’s Typical Equity Provisions)