Category Archives: History

Parsing Federal Security Agency Order 110-1 (1952)

There once was an active debate around whether the federal government should support research just to support research. Vannevar Bush’s Science the Endless Frontier formed part of this debate, and did a great deal to seal the case for government … Continue reading

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The Unofficial University of Wisconsin Patent Policy, c. 1960

In his 1962 compendium of university patent policies, Archie Palmer noted that the University of Wisconsin had no formal patent policy. By then, Wisconsin was an outlier among research universities, most of which had some statement regarding patents and inventions. … Continue reading

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The heart plug in federal grants and contracts

I see a question in my search feed: “Does a Bayh-Dole patent clause make a grant a contract?” Let’s sort this out. Short answer. No, the presence of a patent rights clause does not change the nature of the agreement. Bayh-Dole … Continue reading

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What about “recalibrating” Bayh-Dole?

In 2013, Howard Markel published a “perspective” in the New England Journal of Medicine on the Bayh-Dole Act, “Patents, Profits, and the American People–The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980.” In his article, Markel argues that Bayh-Dole should be “recalibrated,” in part … Continue reading

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Government Interest Patent Activity 1976 to 2016, Part 4

In a portfolio model, 1 invention in 200 becoming a commercial product is acceptable, if the 1 is a big hit. In an agent model, 1 in 200 is unacceptable and borders on malpractice or fraud unless inventors willingly turn … Continue reading

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Government Interest Patent Activity 1976 to 2016, Part 3

With this context, let’s return to our patent activity graphs. University and nonprofit patents with a government interest have grown from 10% of all patents citing a government interest to over 50%. This level of activity leveled off around 1998 … Continue reading

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Government Interest Patent Activity 1976 to 2016, Part 2

Let’s turn to Research Corporation now. For decades, Research Corporation was the dominant invention management broker for universities. Even where universities created research foundations to manage inventions, those foundations often contracted with Research Corporation to do the actual patent work. … Continue reading

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Government Interest Patent Activity 1976 to 2016, Part 1

I ran some patent numbers over the past week using the USPTO web search interface. It’s not the easiest search environment to use, and I don’t expect the numbers to be precise. But I expect the numbers are accurate enough to … Continue reading

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Ten Years After 25 Years After Bayh-Dole, Part 6

We have worked through the set up to a review article on the Bayh-Dole Act from the perspective of a couple of university licensing office practitioners. It’s a fascinating exercise in repeating the conventional vocabulary of university licensing offices but … Continue reading

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Ten Years After 25 Years After Bayh-Dole, Part 5

We have been considering an article reviewing the Bayh-Dole Act published in Nature Biotechnology ten years ago. The purpose in working through the article is to show just how deeply the rhetoric of university “technology transfer” has gained a life … Continue reading

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