Category Archives: History

Whistling all the way to the bank, revisited 3

Having established the contracting problem for government-sponsored “basic research,” let’s get into how the patent administration folks got into changing things around from government ownership to institutional ownership, when the institutions didn’t have policies and practices that swept up inventions … Continue reading

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Available to one, developed by none, 2

We are working through the political argument that without a patent monopoly, federally supported research will never get used or developed into commercial products or ever benefit the public. It’s flowery language meant to lead those who hear or read … Continue reading

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Available to one, developed by none, 1

A repeated argument regarding inventions made with federal support was that the public would benefit from these inventions only if companies invested substantial amounts of private capital in developing the inventions as commercial products. Without commercial development at private expense, … Continue reading

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Helge Holst’s 1963 Argument for Institutional Control of Government Inventions

In 1963, Helge Holst, an attorney for Arthur D. Little and member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Defense Committee published a report titled “Government Patent Policy: Its Impact on Contractor Cooperation with the Government and Widespread Use of … Continue reading

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The Biddle Report’s Perfectly Fine Assumptions

From time to time, I revisit territory. I wrote about this issue almost two years ago, now. I provide here a different angle that gets at the same point. Here’s Sean O’Connor proposing that a flawed assumption in the U.S. … Continue reading

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The National Patent Planning Commission argument for government-created private patent monopolies, 3

The National Patent Planning Commission quotes administration officials repeating this same argument. Here’s the Under Secretary of Agriculture (1941): The commercial exploitation of new inventions requires, in many cases, the expenditure of large sums of money. In such a case, … Continue reading

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The National Patent Planning Commission argument for government-created private patent monopolies, 2

We are looking at the National Patent Planning Commission argument that the government should be permitted to grant exclusive patent licenses on inventions that it acquires. The basic position is that it is a good thing that the government should … Continue reading

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The National Patent Planning Commission argument for government-created private patent monopolies, 1

I have been working through reports from the mid 1940s on government ownership of patents. There are a number of arguments against government exploitation of patents, but these arguments clearly failed. What arguments won out? Here’s one, from the National … Continue reading

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The loss of public information in Bayh-Dole’s allocation of principal rights, 2

The effort to deal with government favoritism in handing out patent monopolies in areas of public welfare of direct interest to government requires a socially acceptable rationale. That rationale takes the form of a public covenant that runs with the … Continue reading

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The loss of public information in Bayh-Dole’s allocation of principal rights, 1

Under the Kennedy and then Nixon executive branch patent policies, contractors engaged in federally supported research or development–and which did not meet the ordinary conditions under which a contractor was allowed to retain ownership of inventions made with federal support–could … Continue reading

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