Category Archives: Commons

“Protecting” university inventions

I answered a question on Quora a bit ago: How can I protect my invention after applying for a patent? In the context of the question, my answer has to do with what an individual might do to “protect” an invention. … Continue reading

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There are no Bayh-Doles in Canada

In a recent hearing held by the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, made some valuable remarks, which he has published at his blog. Geist … Continue reading

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Seven Pillars of Bayh-Dole, the Law that Loots the Commons

I’ve spent more than a few months now focused on Bayh-Dole and its history. It’s worth taking a moment and summarizing some findings. Perhaps this could be the start of a new guide to the Bayh-Dole Act, told from the … Continue reading

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Bayh-Dole’s transfer of public policy judgment, 2

Early on federal research support was debated in terms of a dichotomy between procurement and subvention. As procurement, the government purchased research services and the things that those services created. The government paid contractors to do work and deliver the … Continue reading

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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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