Patents & Licenses

Reclamation seeks partnerships with businesses, other Federal agencies, state and local governments, universities, and individuals to:

  • Accelerate the transfer of research results;
  • Leverage research resources;
  • Exchange scientific and technical information;
  • Advance the nation's economic, social and environmental well-being.

Reclamation's Technology Transfer Staff helps move Reclamation's research discoveries into the marketplace.


Industry can license Reclamation technologies, or technologies that are jointly developed through collaborative research and development. This helps to mature Federal innovations for deployment, so that they can be manufactured and broadly available to benefit the public.

A patent allows the patent owner to control the rights to the technology through licensing and other agreements for the life of the patent, which is about 20 years from the date of the patent application.

A license is an agreement between the patent owner and another party interested in using or selling the patented technology. Licenses may be exclusive, co-exclusive, exclusive by field of use or territory, or nonexclusive. Through a license, the Federal government can grant a non-Federal entity the right to make, use, and sell the patented technology. In return for this right, the licensees are usually required to provide a reasonable fee to the government. Licensees must demonstrate they have the financial and other resource capabilities to achieve the commercialization objectives of the license.

Last Updated: 6/22/20