Our work requires a sensitive balance of confidentiality and promotion. We always respect the requirements of our technology partners who are seeking to secure intellectual property for their products; and we are mindful of our real estate partner’s desires to be recognized for their role in bringing new approaches to market.
We are prepared to work under non-disclosure agreements, where and when necessary. But it is the responsibility of our client to initiate.
Our policy with respect to disclosing work we are doing with a real estate partner is to honor the partner’s wishes when they are funding a demonstration project. Funds from third parties, particularly government sources, usually require full transparency. We will make sure our real estate partners are aware of the conditions that make most sense in a given situation.
Tower Labs is in business to support the adoption of green building technologies in the market – not to secure or leverage participation in the intellectual property of our technology partners. However, in some cases, where our demonstration projects clearly facilitated a new idea or innovation that required resources or collaborations beyond the original scope, then Tower Labs may, as appropriate and not restricted by an NDA or prior non-compete, seek to participate in patent applications with our collaborators. We acknowledge that there are some gray areas in this respect, and will work with an open mind to ensure that all parties are treated fairly.
We cannot succeed on behalf of our technology partners if we are not actively reporting and disseminating results from our demonstration projects. In some cases, where promotion requires work beyond the scope of a funded demonstration project, Tower Labs may secure a minor carried interest in the businesses (see Disclosure of Self Interests). The expectations of our technology partners should be clearly articulated prior to initiating a demonstration project, and must be tempered by an understanding that Tower Labs does not have control over the marketing and promotional activities of our real estate collaborators.
Tower Labs will not disseminate information on unsuccessful demonstration or pilot projects. Our goal is to promote approaches with demonstrable environmental benefits; not to report on all of our activities.
Tower Labs is a not-for-profit organization that sustains its activities from some revenue generating arrangements. In some case, where we have played a significant role in the development or promotion of a new green building product or system, our technology partners may confer certain long-term and short-term benefits, including (but not limited to): minor warrants towards ownership of shares in the companies; a limited commission on sales of the new product(s); repayment of principal and interest derived from future sales; etc.
These arrangements may result in real and perceived conflicts of interest when we are promoting the outcome of a demonstration project. We hope that the results of the actual demonstration project will not be viewed that way. But we will always answer any questions about our ongoing involvement with a supplier.