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Cashing In

You've had a flash of genius and invented something novel, and now you'd like to commercialize it. Benchfly's Carlton Hoyt has some ideas on how to do that. First, it's important to deal with the legalities of claiming and owning intellectual property, he says. Make sure you own it, and not the institution you may have been working for at the time. Once that's sorted, you need to file for a patent, which can require thousands of dollars for a patent attorney. You could go ahead without a patent and operate under nondisclosure agreements, but Hoyt recommends against it as these agreements offer little protection against IP theft. Then, you have three choices: license your IP to a company for commercialization, sell your IP, or build your own company around your IP. Each of these options has risks and rewards, Hoyt says. Whichever route you take, there are professionals that can help you along, like commercialization consultants or your university's tech transfer office. "Regardless of whom you work with, make sure they have the right combination of industry, business, and technical knowledge to ensure your deal is successful," Hoyt adds. "With a little help, you can take that great idea of yours and turn it into dollars."

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.