Category Archives: Innovation

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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Goodyear and use of a gateway patent to control a big Invention

In Medical Monopoly Joseph Gabriel describes how Charles Goodyear used patents to lock out competitors from using his process for “vulcanizing” rubber without a license. We will use Gabriel’s account to consider alternatives to the prevailing university narrative about how … Continue reading

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The Faculty Stack, 3: Linking Federal Resources with Free Play

We are working through the idea that faculty independence is an important element in the justification to push federal funding for research activities to universities. For Vannevar Bush, the idea was that the frontiers of science were best explored by … Continue reading

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An odd statement of government interest in a Navy “UFO” patent

Here’s US patent 10322827. One of the “UFO” patents. It’s interesting physics, if not controversial, for being innovative in an institutional world that has made innovation mostly boring. But we are concerned with something else here.

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A sense of proportion–4

To lay it out in bullet points, the now dominant university patent-based approach to research inventions defaulting to exclusive licenses: fragments invention platforms with no way to restore them attracts speculative investors while pushing away companies raises barriers to early … Continue reading

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Patents, Medicines, Public Funding–2

We have distinguished four sorts of medical interventions–prevention, cure, facilitation, and alleviation. We have also argued that from a public health point of view, prevention and cure are tops, and facilitation and alleviation are great when they support prevention and … Continue reading

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Patents, Medicines, Public Funding–1

Let’s look at four areas of health “technology”: preventions, cures, facilitators, and alleviators. A prevention does just that–prevents an adverse health condition. A vaccine, for instance, prevents a disease (for many, and sometimes with adverse reactions, even deaths). Or, regular … Continue reading

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Research Enterprise Policy Issues: fragmentation of noisy research

We have looked at noisy research and quiet research. Policy folks don’t much care, but it appears to make a difference whether research is conducted quietly or noisily. In quiet research, variations are explored, applications considered, data assembled, evidence checked … Continue reading

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Research Enterprise Policy Issues: noisy work, quiet work

Let’s discuss practice around research, invention, and enterprise. Let’s start distinguish quiet work and noisy work. When someone is doing unprovoked research on their own–in the proverbial laboratory (institutional) or garage (unaffiliated, gadgeteer, entrepreneur), their work tends to be quiet. … Continue reading

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Fantasy depictions of technology transfer, 3

Despite all this discussion of university fantasy depictions of a technology transfer process, their invocation of the Bayh-Dole Act as their justification, and the reality that actual practice is nowhere like their depictions of process, success, or history, there are … Continue reading

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