If a company would like to acquire rights to use or commercialize either an unpatented
material, or a patented or patent-pending invention developed in PHS laboratories,
a license is required. A license is a legal agreement by which the owner of an invention
promises not to take action to exclude the licensed party from making, using, and/or selling
the invention. Where appropriate, licenses to PHS inventions are granted on a worldwide basis.
Most biomedical companies, whether large or small, desire worldwide patent protection to secure
foreign markets or to use their assets in establishing strategic alliances which can add to the
further development of the invention and the distribution of its benefits to the public.