Licensing SBIR/STTR Data and Technologies
Licensing under a patent is very common. However, if the SBIR firm did not patent, and is protecting its SBIR Data by means of the government’s nondisclosure obligation - then licensing will permit another firm to use the small firm’s SBIR Data and its underlying technology. The SBIR firm owns its SBIR Data and the government receives a license in it. 
For example, a prime federal contractor may wish to use the SBIR Data and technology on a prime contract, and this can lead to a desire by the prime contractor to sublicense the SBIR Data. The SBIR firm should restrict the prime contractor’s ability to sublicense the SBIR Data without the SBIR firm’s consent. 
In contrast, a license to a commercial firm will normally result in a free-standing license of both the SBIR Data and the technology associated with it, or rights under a patent.
Additional details are available via SBA’s SBIR Data Rights Course, as well as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Policy Directive, effective May 2, 2019.
Updated by Kristin Stiner, March 2020