Category Archives: History

Dr. Irene Till, Pharma Monopoly, and the Bayh-Dole Heist

In a recent Twitter post, Prof. Richard R. John at Columbia University (@RrjohnR) asks for suggestions for a bibliography of “scholarship on the history of anti-monopoly since 1945.” One respondent cites Elizabeth Popp Berman “Why Universities Patent” (well, Prof. Berman … Continue reading

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What Bayh-Dole has stolen from us

In an article published August 29, 2021 in The Intercept, Alexander Zaitchik describes the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act as “The Great American Science Heist,” with the subtitle “How the Bayh-Dole Act Wrested Public Science From the People’s Hands.” He … Continue reading

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The use of the patent system for federal research results, 10: the drivers that eventually produce Bayh-Dole

There’s the version of the theory of patent rights that asserts that exclusionary practice is at the heart of the value of a patent, and any practice that declines to assert a patent wastes that value. This theory of exclusionary … Continue reading

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The use of the patent system for federal research results, 8: Exploiting the use of the patent system

FSA policy 110, the first agency attempt at making a policy to deal with inventions made in federally supported public health research, tries to establish a middle ground for the use of patents. While clearly endorsing open access, including royalty-free … Continue reading

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The use of the patent system for federal research results, 7: Failure of FSA 110-1 to establish a middle ground

Let’s look more carefully at this second possibility beyond the possibility of open access–and where the “generally” in FSA 110-1 gets triggered to make at an attempted middle ground between always open access and full-on use of patents to exclude … Continue reading

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The use of the patent system for federal research results, 5: Possibilities of patent use

We are working through and around FSA order 110-1, the first major federal executive branch policy regarding inventions made in federally funded work, issued in 1952. The Supreme Court in its 1933 decision in Dubilier said the it was up … Continue reading

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The use of the patent system for federal research results, 4: Forman

We are looking slowly at FSA order 110-1, the policy that starts the administrative battle over how federal funding ought to affect company opportunities to profit on matters of public health. The FSA, having insisted that research results should be … Continue reading

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The use of the patent system for federal research results, 3: FSA 110-1 and public interest

Federal policy on inventions made in federally supported research starts in a big way with Federal Security Agency Order 110-1, dated December 30, 1952. Norman Latker, patent counsel for the NIH, in 1978 testimony before Senator Nelson’s subcommittee, identified Order … Continue reading

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The use of the patent system for federal research results, 2: Why universities patent

For an account that covers reasonably well the context for universities getting involved in patenting, see Elizabeth Popp Berman’s 2006 paper “Why Do Universities Patent? The Role of the Federal Government in Creating Modern Technology Transfer Practice” (draft here). What … Continue reading

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The use of the patent system for federal research results, 1: Dubilier

It starts with Dubilier. In 1933, the Supreme Court decided in Dubilier that federal employees, just because they were employed, did not give up their personal–Constitutional–rights in inventions that they made. Considering the possible differences between private employment and federal … Continue reading

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