Where is the eBay for Intellectual Property?


intellectual property
technology transfer
intellectual property exchanges


This paper is an examination of the economics, organizational dynamics and structural factors inhibiting an electronic market for intellectual property.  Several intermediaries exist to facilitate the transition of intellectual property (IP) from sellers to buyers.  Over the past 20 years, a number of companies attempted to create an online “eBay for IP.â€Â  These IP Exchanges (IPEs) failed to gain traction in competition with other mediums that provide channels to facilitate IP transactions.  Compounding the problem is the concentration of intellectual property assets amongst a small group of institutions and within those institutions as well as organizational hurdles inherent in academic technology transfer offices.  As a result, the business model for an online IPE market is fundamentally challenging, and no successful IPE exists to date.



Are there "Institutional Failures" in Intellectual Marketplaces? Anderson, Rosli, Rossi & Yangsap. 2013. No. 2, 2013, Vol. 30.

AUTM - Association of Technology Managers. 2009. AUTM Transaction Survey. 2009.

AUTM, Association of University Technology Managers. 2011.

AUTM Transaction Survey. s.l. : AUTM, 2011. Industry Survey.

Millien, Raymond. 2013. Landscape 2013: Who are the Players in the IP Marketplace? IP Watchdog. January 23, 2013, pp. 2-12.

The evolution of science-based business: innovating how we innovate. Pisano, Gary. 2, s.l. : Industrial and Corporate Change, Vol. 19.

The IP Spinout Model. Houghton, Lalande, Miller and Redmond. 2001. s.l. : Harvard Business School, 2001.

Unless specified by prior arrangement, the author agrees to the following terms and assurances:

  1. For myself and on behalf of the other authors listed on this work, I assign to thinkBiotech LLC the copyright* in the contribution for the full term throughout the world.
  2. I/we further give to the following assurances
    1. I am the sole author of the contribution, or, if not, I have the written authority of the other authors to transfer the copyright* to thinkBiotech LLC and give these warranties;
    2. I and (where appropriate) the other authors are entitled to transfer the copyright to thinkBiotech LLC and no one else would be entitled to prevent us from publishing the contribution;
    3. To the best of my/our knowledge, all the facts in the contribution are true and accurate;
    4. The content of the contribution is entirely original to me (and where appropriate to the other authors) or, if not, the written permission of the owner of the copyright in any material copied from elsewhere has been obtained for all media (all such permissions to be attached to the contribution as supplementary files);
    5. Nothing in the contribution is obscene or libellous;
    6. Nothing in the contribution infringes any duty of confidentiality which I/or the other authors may owe to anyone else.
    7. I and/or the other authors have obtained the appropriate clearances from my/our employer(s) or other concerned institution(s).
* Works by US government employees prepared as part of official duties are in the public domain and the authors are therefore exempt from copyright assignment.