In recent years, universities increasingly have been involved in the marketing and licensing of their intellectual property rights, mainly in the form of patent selling, technology licensing, and contract research. Although the reasons for this are clear, there are correlated research questions that deserve further attention. We examined how this happens and under which conditions universities carry out such activities to define outbound open innovation. This paper focuses on a specific part of the vast literature dealing with technology transfer from academia, and conducts a systematic review of the literature on the economic exploitation of the knowledge produced (in any form) and sold by universities. The results indicated that a greater part of such research analyzes commercialization modes, with licensing being the main channel of technology transfer, followed by analyses of the performance of the various research modes. In addition, some papers also mention the value network; fewer studies discuss strategies and the managerial perspectives. We analyzed the literature in 42 academic journals and 118 papers specifically dealing with this research topic. This review is the first to analyze literature systematically in terms of the financial benefit acquired by universities from technology transfer and to analyze the best means through which the income can be generated, e.g., licensing, commercializing, the creation of spin‐offs, and transferring knowledge or technology to other institutions or establishments.