Category Archives: Commons

Ten Years After 25 Years After Bayh-Dole, Part 1

Ten years ago Sara Boettiger and Alan Bennett, a couple of University of California licensing officers, published an article on Bayh-Dole in Nature Biotechnology, “Bayh-Dole: if we knew then what we know now.” Boettiger and Bennett paint a picture of … Continue reading

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Bayh-Dole, a law designed to reduce invention use rates

Here’s a table from the Harbridge House report, c. 1968. I’ve marked on it to call attention to some figures. First, when a contractor has experience and owns an invention, the commercial use rate is over 20%. Universities, however, as … Continue reading

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Bayh-Dole has dropped commercialization rates from 25% to 0.5%: what more can we expect?

University licensing programs appear to have about a 0.5% commercialization rate. That is, of all the assets reported to them which they claim, only 1 in 200 (or less) actually results in a commercial product (without regard to the “success” … Continue reading

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Documented and undocumented technology transfer programs

Recently, the University of California, in an internal report on its technology transfer program, indicated that its commercialization rate was 0.5%–1 invention in 200 got to the point of a commercial product. There was no indication whether those commercial products … Continue reading

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How can universities demonstrate they aren’t patent trolls?

Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that university administrators at places like Caltech don’t want to be labelled patent trolls. What might make it clear that universities are not just one more set of patent trolls? “We’re not … Continue reading

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On Crossing the Commons

I was in a conversation with some folks associated with the University of Alaska and wrote the following bit about my past work. With a bit of editing for a different context, and the usual expansion to flesh things out … Continue reading

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Things universities can do with patents

A patent has many uses.  A patent can be used to: exclude others from using an invention the patent owner is using prevent others from using an invention the patent owner is not using extract payments from users or companies wanting to market products … Continue reading

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Active Latency Innovation

In The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress, Joel Mokyr works through an economic history of technological change. He observes that sometimes changes happen incrementally, and sometimes with a sort of “macro” leap. It appears that in some … Continue reading

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The Public Research Patent Covenant–Narrative Version

The Institutional Patent Agreement approach to patent rights arising from federally supported research carried with it what we may call a public covenant, a set of conditions that run with each patent on a subject invention that place limits on … Continue reading

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Choose Your Open Source License

There’s a useful guide at GitHub for choosing an open source license. The guide presents a developer with three distinct options: These capture three common, primary concerns that show up once one has made the decision to be open with … Continue reading

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