Online marketplaces specializing in intellectual property promise to broaden the reach, reduce the cost and speed negotiation for companies dealing in intellectual assets. The two most often used by chemical companies are yet2.com and pl-x.com. In addition to matching buyers and sellers, these two sites provide services including marketing, buyer validation, risk reduction via third-party insurers, negotiation support and asset valuation. Both host sites for client companies as well. P&G, for example, has outsourced its own tech-transfer site to yet2.com. DuPont, a minority investor in yet2.com, was the first to complete a deal there. It involved an instrument technology that could be a "multi-million dollar deal over its lifetime," says Robert Hirsch, global managing director, Intellectual Asset Business, DuPont & Co., Wilmington, Del. DuPont has over 200 other technology packages available for sale on the site. Hirsch likes the short time it took to complete the deal -- three months versus up to 18 months or longer on other deals -- and the potential new buyers the site attracts. "There is no way in the world of knowing some of those companies are even out there, let alone that they have needs we might be able to fill." Another interesting site created by a company spun out of Eli Lilly & Co., presents organic-chemistry problems on the Web and offers "rewards" for those providing solutions. InnoCentive LLC, Indianapolis, at www.innocentive.com, has more than $1.8 million up for grabs in over 30 challenges. Other companies are encouraged to place problems on the site as well. Leading intellectual property e-marketplaces include:
- BioStreet.com (BioStreet Inc., San Francisco) matches buyers and sellers of life science technologies and product programs.
- Delphion.com (Delphion Inc., Chicago) maintains a patent database and offers intellectual property asset-management software tools and services.
- Technex.com (Intellectual Property Technology Exchange Inc., Boston) provides licensing and partnering opportunities in emerging biomedical technologies.
- Knowledgeexpress.com (Knowledge Express Data Systems LC, King of Prussia, Pa.) offers technology transfer, partnering and licensing opportunities for biotech, life science and pharmaceutical industries.
- Patex.com (Information Holdings Inc., New York) matches buyers and sellers of intellectual property in high-tech, chemical, biotech and manufacturing industries.
- pl-x.com (Patent and License Exchange Inc., Pasadena, Calif.) provides intellectual property management, valuation and marketing tools and services to materials and industrial markets.
- UVentures.com (UVentures Inc., New York.) maintains a licensing-opportunity database of technologies from 250 universities and research laboratories.
- yet2.com (yet2.com Inc., Cambridge, Mass.) offers intellectual property buyer and seller matchmaker, marketing, buyer validation, materials and industrial markets.