Tech transfer offices will sell you anything you want. I understand they need to do this, but I haven't quite sorted out if they are being ignorant or sneaky.
We are looking for technolgy that does X. There are several established players in the field that are findable, essentially, with 5 minutes work. I was speaking with a University the other day about some other stuff, and he asked "are you interested in tech X?", I said YES! He then laid out the bare bones of the new tech. While he was talking, I PubMed'd my way to some papers describing the technology. It falls directly in competition with the established player. It is a barely incremental jump above what they are doing. I pointed this out to him and asked why he thought we would be free to operate given the other company and their IP. He didn't know.
Now, either he is being cagey and really didn't know. OR he was being sneaky and hoping that I would just sign up and send him a check real fast (like I can do that....). Either way, it just makes him look a little dumb. It makes me more nervous dealing with him that he really doesn't know what he is talking about.
My hope for tech transfer offices. Spend the 5 minutes to do a quick survey of leaders in that field. Please don't use the excuse "we have too broad a portfolio" as I have heard this. I can cover and understand your entire life sciences portfolio from my side, so you should be able to do the same. Google will help you find the leaders. Use it and don't waste my time.