Category Archives: IP

Exclusive License and Assignment

I have discussed in a number of articles the issue of exclusive license and assignment for inventions. The distinction matters under Bayh-Dole because Bayh-Dole’s standard patent rights clause (37 CFR 401.14(a)(k)(1)) forbids nonprofit contractors from assigning subject inventions other than to … 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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Federal patent policy for the 21st Century, Part 1

How about a new Dole/Bayh Act? Of course, it will have different names attached to it. How about a law that tracks what Vannevar Bush recommended for scientific frontiers, nearly 75 years ago, in Science the Endless Frontier? One that puts inventors first. … Continue reading

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Exclusive licensing in Bayh-Dole, Part 1: Licenses and Assignments

Here is what Bayh-Dole says about exclusive licenses: Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no small business firm or nonprofit organization which receives title to any subject invention and no assignee of any such small business firm or nonprofit … Continue reading

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Things universities can do with patents

A patent has many uses.  A patent can be used to: exclude others from using an invention the patent owner is using prevent others from using an invention the patent owner is not using extract payments from users or companies wanting to market products … Continue reading

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Choose Your Open Source License

There’s a useful guide at GitHub for choosing an open source license. The guide presents a developer with three distinct options: These capture three common, primary concerns that show up once one has made the decision to be open with … Continue reading

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Covenants, Public Good, and Money

I’ve covered a great deal of ground in the last few articles. I’ll summarize and vent here. Universities impose conditions on the use of the patents they acquire, and these conditions form covenants that run with the patents for the … Continue reading

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What universities can and can’t do with their patents

We started an investigation into university IP practice with this question: Should university management of patents be any different from any other owner of patents? The answer we found is “yes.” University patents not only should be different–they clearly are … Continue reading

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