back to article NASA offers free access to its patents for startup entrepreneurs

Seemingly bored of rockets, NASA is launching its Startup program, in which it will license its technologies to entrepreneurs with no up-front payment. "The Startup NASA initiative addresses two common problems startups face: raising capital and securing intellectual property rights," stated the agency's release. The …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    The first hit is always free

    Great idea really, give them time to get hooked on something, develop their business and get revenue, then come back and claim royalties.

    Okay, so it's not a bad idea per se, but more than 4% of sales ? That's more than the current interest rate for someone else doing the work. I don't know what the royalty rate generally is, so maybe they're being eminently reasonable.

    What of the companies that don't survive three years and fold ? Do they still have to pay the $3,000 minimum ?

    1. BillG

      Re: The first hit is always free

      NASA's Office of Technology Transfer has been around since the 1960's. I wrote a report about this in high school about 30 years ago and so I was pleased to see this article. But what's changed is that up until now the technology has been totally free with a license similar to the GNU public license. Charging for the technology may be illegal under U.S. law because it was paid for by U.S. taxpayer dollars.

  2. Def Silver badge


    Why is a government agency allowed to patent anything in the first place? It is, after all, technology paid for by the tax payer. Surely it should be in the public domain.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Patents?

      Worse in the UK, any patent that may have national defence uses has to be offered to the government before being published.

      For 50 years these were all handed over to RSRE, which was then "privatised" (and definitely not sold to some friends of the PM for 0.1% of it's value) as QuinitiQ.

      Then they became total bar stewards to deal with when you tried to licence any of "their" IP.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Patents?

      So that it's protected from some company seeing it and patenting it themselves.

      I do have a problem with royalties though since it's, as you say, already paid for.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. druck Silver badge

    Who has the patent for a pointing thing that goes to space? NASA, CCCP/Russia or Germany?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      For sending them up = Goddard

      For not caring where they came down = von -Braun

      For knowing how big you have to make them = Tsiolkovsky

  4. Zmodem

    amazon can steal deep impact target landing scaler zone thing and put it on drones, so they don`t land in your neighbours garden

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