In the previous post, I discussed the problem of accumulating a patent portfolio as a way to generate licensing income. A portfolio approach can be financially successful, but in a patent world, it needs only one or two hits a decade. The rest of the portfolio can be wasting asset and it doesn’t matter: that is the job of the rest of the portfolio in such a model.
From this we find that:
*The accumulate-to-license exclusively model works infrequently by design. No amount of extra funding or effort will change its proven dynamics. You cannot buy innovation markets with patent threats. You can make money, however, and call that “success”.
*The effect of university administrators acting on Bayh-Dole is to sequester and render uncertain nearly a million research events that rise to the level of invention over the past 30 years.
*The accumulation model undermines academic publishing by preventing researchers and practitioners from being able to use the publications to do further research, to use, or to help others use. First they must take a license from administrators who under the influence of their model care only about making money from the sale of commercial products or companies trying to make them.
*The “funding gap” often cited by university administrators as a reason for the lack of licensing is largely an artifact of the model itself. There are funding gaps, but the funding gap university patent administrators are talking about is a product of their own policies and practices. These practices have made the naturally occurring funding gaps deeper and more difficult.
*The simplistic narrative of research-invention-license-money is true to the extent that it can often be constructed after the fact, but is a proven lousy guide to policy and practice. Trying to make life imitate art is tough enough. Making life imitate bad policy is not on the road to an innovation society.
Next, we explore the effect of unlicensed, patented research inventions.