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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

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.