Express License Agreements

A UWMRF Express License Agreement (ELA) is a fast-track process that allows faculty and student entrepreneurs to develop and commercialize their ideas. It is designed to streamline the contract negotiation process, reduce legal costs, and provide a license that has a predefined set of terms and conditions. An UWMRF-ELA is a standard, non-negotiable, exclusive license agreement specifically designed for startups founded by UWM faculty, staff, and students.

An ELA offers standard terms that are reasonable for both parties. This expedites the licensing process by eliminating the need to negotiate a license with UWMRF. An ELA must be signed without any modifications, in other words “AS IS.”

Any UWM startups that do not wish to use the ELA terms but wish to execute a license with the UWMRF are also welcome to negotiate through our standard licensing processes.

Key advantages of using an UWMRF-ELA 

  • Quick, fast-track process
  • Startup friendly terms and conditions
  • No large up-front fees
  • No milestone fees
  • Favorable royalty rates
  • You win/we win design to help the company succeed

Key Licensing Terms 

  • $500 per founder up-front fee at the licensing option stage
  • Past patent expenses paid as follows:
    • 33% at 12-month anniversary
    • 33% at 24-month anniversary
    • Remainder at 36-month anniversary
  • Future patent expenses paid in real time
  • $5,000 license maintenance fee beginning at year 3
  • 2% net sales royalty for patented products
  • 10% net sales royalty for copyrighted works/software
  • Choice between 1% exit fee or 5% equity with antidilution up to $2M in fundraising
    • Each license will include specific diligence milestones specific to their business plan and market including fundraising, participation in customer discovery programs, recruiting an advisory board, and arranging strategic partnerships.

Conditions required to use the UWMRF-ELA

  • A UWM faculty, staff member or student is a founder of the startup company
  • All intellectual property rights are assigned to UWMRF, unless otherwise discussed and agreed upon
  • The UWMRF-ELA is executed without any modifications
  • The UWMRF -ELA is not applicable for;
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Drug development
    • Medical Devices and related technologies

*UWMRF reserves the right to determine if the proposed technology qualifies for the UWMRF-ELA.

For more information, please request a meeting with the UWMRF to discuss the ELA program.


Introductory Information: ELA Launch Presentation 


Contact:  Jessica Silvaggi, Ph. D 


Startups are not always required to use an UWMRF-ELA. Alternate licensing options may be negotiated with UWMRF.