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Argonne National Laboratory’s express option for select technologies provides several benefits for U.S. companies. It provides a streamlined pathway for interested and eligible companies to assess promising technologies through a standardized, exclusive, fixed-fee agreement. For a period of nine months, a company may evaluate whether a technology fits with their business goals and develop a commercialization plan before deciding to pursue and negotiate a full license. Entering into the express option agreement also reserves the technology so no other company can license it during the option period in the field of use.

Key Option Terms:

  • Nine-month option period to negotiate up to an exclusive commercial license for the technology within a negotiated Field of Use
  • Nine-month, non-exclusive R&D license to allow the company to explore whether the technology is a fit for their business
  • $1,000 option fee
  • The option period is extendable for an additional nine months, at Argonne’s discretion, for a $2,000 option extension fee
  • A field of use, to be negotiated by the parties (the only negotiable term).

A summary of the option terms are included with the Commercialization Questionnaire [pdf], and the complete terms may be found in the Option Agreement [pdf].

Key Eligibility Criteria:

U.S. Patent and patent applications on technologies currently listed for Express Licensing are available to:

Those companies that do not qualify may nevertheless seek a license to the listed intellectual property through the Argonne standard processes. 

Streamlined Pathway:

  • Company submits the Commercialization Questionnaire [pdf] to initiate the process
  • Argonne responds within five business days once the completed Commercialization Questionnaire [pdf] is received. Argonne may request additional eligibility information at its discretion.
  • The parties negotiate the Field of Use for the selected technology, which is the only negotiable term in the Option Agreement [pdf].
  • The parties sign the standard, otherwise non-negotiable Argonne Express Option Agreement, prepared by Argonne.


Disclaimer: Satisfying eligibility criteria alone does not guarantee an option.  Argonne reserves the right to determine to whom its intellectual property is licensed.  The Commercialization questionnaire is not meant to be a binding contract, but rather is intended to set forth the primary business terms to be codified in an Agreement to be negotiated between the parties. No party shall have any right or incur any obligations to another party under this questionnaire.