The protection of intellectual property during the research stage of a project is extremely important. Even after the research is completed, many companies continue to protect that information because it gives them an edge in the market.
In some cases, though, the goal is not to use the IP on their own; researchers may develop intellectual property and then move forth with selling it to a third party. This strategy permits the third party to use and control the IP despite not having developed it themselves.
Conversely, selling the property is not always the goal either. Researches who want to benefit financially but who do not want to lose complete control over their information, may consider licensing it out. Whoever owns the license for it can use the IP, however they still do not own it.
For example, recently The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Research Foundation, has been working on treatments for a convulsant disorder, such as epilepsy. At the same time, RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc., has been looking into treating sleep-related breathing disorders with cannabinoids and treating central nervous system disorders with ampakines. When RespireRx heard about the research being done at UWM, they decided to license out their information so that RespireRx could incorporate it into their own research.
Collaborations like this can be incredibly beneficial, especially when pushing medical research. Additionally, they can also be quite lucrative for both sides. As such, it is very important for all parties involved to ensure that they understand their specific IP rights and all of the legal steps they must take in order to effectively collaborate.