Category Archives: IP

Patent Exploitation Alternatives

A patent allows a patent owner to exclude others from practicing the invention claimed by the patent–including any of its variants. A patent owner thus has a limited monopoly on the practice of the invention–making the invention, using the invention, … Continue reading

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Key Concept 4: Ad Hoc Patent Office

Ad Hoc Patent Office Institutions create ad hoc patent offices by compelling the assignment of patentable inventions, obtaining patents on those inventions issued to the institution, and then re-issuing the patents as private monopolies. Such ad hoc patent offices forestall … Continue reading

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Key Concept 3: FOIL Technology

FOIL Technology FOIL is an acronym that stands for “Fragmented Ownership Institutionally Licensed.” Technology that is FOIL is fragmented across institutional owners that then seek to license their portion of the technology for development as a commercial product. FOIL is … Continue reading

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Key Concept 2: Substantial rights

Substantial Rights Substantial rights is a concept used by courts in considering whether an invention has been licensed or assigned. The substantial rights in an invention are the rights to make, use, and sell. If these rights are licensed exclusively, … Continue reading

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What should the federal government do with patents it issues to itself? Part 2

The Bayh-Dole Dissatisfaction with the Patent System According to its advocates, starting with Sen. Bayh, the idea of behind Bayh-Dole was to require federal agencies to pre-assign their ownership interest in invention contract deliverables to university contractors. It’s a clever … Continue reading

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What should the federal government do with patents it issues to itself? Part 1

Here is a question: What should the federal government do with patents it issues to itself? Some Context In the 1940s and 1950s, as the United States government contracted for research services associated with the development of weapons systems and … Continue reading

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That special special case 5: From invention to patent to flip

Patent System and Public Covenants If the patent system is good as it is, and does not require a public covenant to run with inventions made in federally supported research, then why should federal policy endorse the two circumventions of … Continue reading

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That special special case 2: Circumventing the patent system

Here is the public policy agenda of Bayh-Dole. If one cuts through the apparatus and the happy-talk, Bayh-Dole stipulates that the patent system is to be used to create company monopolies on inventions made with private support, using private patent … Continue reading

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DIY Plus: inventions, claims, and technology transfer

I will start with a mostly unreadable diagram: This is the rhetorical anatomy of the relationship between an invention and a patent, or a “claimed invention.” It is important to see the difference because people tend to talk about inventions … Continue reading

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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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