Technology Licensing

If a company would like to acquire rights to use or commercialize an invention, a license is normally required. Where appropriate, licenses to CDC inventions are granted on a worldwide basis. The licensing of CDC technologies is handled via a partnership with our sister Public Health Service (PHS) agency, the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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Types of Licenses Available

There are a variety of types of licenses available based on your needs to utilize a given CDC technology. For non-patented materials, the standard licensing agreements are BMLAs – Biological Materials License Agreements, and PTLAs – Proprietary Technology Licensing Agreements, for non-biological materials. If a company would like to test the technology first, then a Commercial Evaluation License Agreement (CELA) is available. Also available are Non-exclusive and Exclusive Patent licenses based on your commercialization needs. Should a company only need to use the technology for internal R&D research, an Internal Commercial Use License Agreement is available. Each of these agreement types is described on the NIH OTT’s web page at

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How to Obtain a License

Companies interested in learning more about CDC technologies are encouraged to “visit the Technologies Available for Licensing page.” CDC technologies available for licensing are also listed on the NIH Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) web page. A company that desires a license to develop a CDC invention must complete and submit a “NIH License Application” to the CDC Licensing Managers listed at this page.

This application forms the primary basis for licensing decisions. It provides us with information about the potential licensee, the type of license desired, some of the terms desired, and the potential licensee’s plans for development and/or commercialization of the invention. Also, if the applicant desires a license with some form of exclusivity, the completed application provides us with the applicant’s justification for an exclusive license.

After reviewing the license application, the CDC Team at NIH, in consultation with the CDC TTO, determine if the applicant’s proposal is consistent with the licensing strategy developed for the invention, whether the grant of the license would benefit the public, and if this is consistent with the interests of the federal government. If the applicant has requested a nonexclusive license and a favorable determination has been made, negotiations will begin as appropriate.

If the applicant has requested an exclusive or partially exclusive license, NIH OTT will publish a notice in the Federal Register as required by law. After a 30 day period for public comment, CDC will make a final determination regarding the license.

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Additional Information

Information on technologies currently available for licensing may be obtained by contacting one of our Licensing and Patenting Managers or

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