Acme Patent Licensing Software
Acme Patent Licensing Software (APL)is a software-based service which helps Universities out-license their patented technology. Universities who use the Acme system can sign licenses and collect royalties on line – without ever meeting the licensee. We did not invest.
- Assessment:This was a great product – in concept and execution. It had the potential to unlock the millions of patents sitting “on the shelf” at universities across the world. But we were concerned about the company’s ability to separate themselves from the University where the company was incubated. We have previously experienced issues with pulling companies out of Universities and we knew this could be an issue. In short, an organization influenced by dozens of committees gets all excited about how rich they will be, without either the money or the skillset to turn the idea into a business.
- Outcome:Despite a change in CEOs and significant investment from others, the company failed.
- Learning:We will no longer look to invest in companies where the University investor/developer sees themselves having a continuing stake in managing the company. This is different from pure traditional University licensing arrangements. These deals can be painful to negotiate, but are typically quite durable once completed.