More than 2500 inventions, approximately 1200 patent registrations, and numerous successful contracts with industry: The balance of accounts from 20 years of technology transfer and IP management is impressive. For more than two decades, the Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH has facilitated technology transfer between the universities and universities of applied sciences of Baden Wuerttemberg on the one hand and industry on the other. And it has - indirectly - also facilitated progress in the region and beyond.
With its two decades of experience, TLB is a pioneer and example for German patent and licensing services for universities and universities of applied sciences. The technology licensing office TLB GmbH was founded in 1998 as a result of a pilot project of Karlsruhe University dating back to 1987. On 19 August 1998, the "Patent and Licensing Consultancy" at the University of Karlsruhe became a GmbH, a company under private law.. TLB has been operating as a GmbH for 20 years now. It counts among Germany’s longest-standing patent exploitation agencies and was founded well before the patent exploitation campaign of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) was launched. The organizational form of a GmbH meant a step towards professional patent exploitation and set an example for patent exploitation agencies that followed.
The founding managing director was Dr. Klaus Kobek, who started with five employees in August 1998. The core group of employees was expanded constantly, also in order to be able to address the universities’ many and varied specialized disciplines. For the guarantee of success across the years is the engaged and expert group of employees who incorporate their specialized knowledge of various scientific disciplines into the TLB experience pool. The current nine innovation managers and employees in business development have, in addition to their specialized expertise, many years’ experience in the area of patents and licenses. They are also well-networked and work together in interdisciplinary fashion. The TLB GmbH innovation managers are currently supporting about 400 active assessment projects. TLB has generated a revenue of more than EUR 23 million from patent commercialization in the past 20 years for universities and universities of applied sciences – a top spot in Germany.
In past years, TLB has set trends in patent exploitation consistently. Therefore, the current Managing Director – Dr.-Ing. Hubert Siller – wants to continue along this proven course, but also react to new challenges such as “Industry 4.0” and the topic of patent infringment. In the future, the Business Development department will be expanded further and become more international. Technology-oriented start-ups should also be initiated and supported increasingly. Thanks to the stable staff and interdisciplinary orientation, Managing Director Hubert Siller sees an encouraging future for TLB GmbH as it faces future challenges.