How have University IP licensing terms for tech startups changed since Google licensed PageRank from Stanford?


What were the details of the IP licensing agreement between Google and Stanford for PageRank?
For example, what PERCENTAGE equity and royalty rate did Google give to Stanford? Were there anti-dilution provisions to the stock?

Since then, how have University IP licensing terms for tech startups changed? What are some modern examples from Stanford or MIT? What are the typical terms nowadays?

NOTE: I know that copies of the legal documents between Google and Stanford are available on the web but these all have the relevant numbers redacted. Also, I know that SEC filings show Stanford owned 1.8M shares of Google at IPO, but I would like to learn what PERCENTAGE of Google's authorized shares this 1.8M was and at which financing round it was granted, and what other, more recent, university tech licenses have negotiated.

Legal Intellectual Property Licensing

asked Sep 13 '12 at 07:53
21 points
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  • I think what you're asking for is pretty sensitive information. Wouldn't hurt to ask Stanford or Google though. – Henry The Hengineer 12 years ago

1 Answer


The original agreement over PageRank is here and it was amended later (see here ). Stanford's typical policy (as stated here ) is to accept Cash Royalties, but it can also accept equity in lieu of some cash. The actual amount of equity may vary - you'll need to ask Stanford OTL about it. Further details are here.

Both Stanford and MIT changed their IP licensing agreement terms slightly from future tense to present tense in the wake of SCOTUS case Stanford vs. Roche: [MIT changed its wording from “agree to assign” to “hereby assign” as the case was making its way to the Supreme Court.]

answered Sep 13 '12 at 08:33
Henry The Hengineer
4,316 points

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