Category Archives: Policy

“Protection” of inventions in Bayh-Dole

Twitter thread: Federal patent law uses “protect” with respect to inventions only in Bayh-Dole’s strange definition of invention at 35 USC 201(d): “is or may be patentable or otherwise protectable under this title” What does it mean to “protect” an … Continue reading

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Invention is not a thing, 12: Licensing practices that recognize inventions aren’t things

We have spent a great deal of time working through federal policy on research inventions to show how the idea that an invention is not a thing plays out–less well than one would like. Despite ambiguities, it would appear that … Continue reading

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An invention is not a thing, 6: Invention holes, practical application, and development

An invention is a collection of things, a set, a door of opportunity and whatever an inventor and others see through that door. A patent is an inventor’s claim to exclusivity in what the inventor, perhaps with help from others, … Continue reading

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An invention is not a thing, 4: Compounds patented by GSK

An invention is not a thing, it is a collection or set. Consider this invention, “Compounds.” A US patent (10,428,078) was issued to GlaxoSmithKline Intellectual Property Development Limited on October 1, 2019–just a few days ago. An earlier patent (10,125,141) … Continue reading

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An invention is not a thing, 2: The fringe cases and federal policy

We are working through the logic of Bayh-Dole’s requirements on ownership of inventions made in work receiving federal support. We have made the point that an invention is not a thing–it is a category, a set, a collection of ways … Continue reading

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An invention is not a thing, 1: the “may be patentable” category

An invention is not a thing. An invention not a “cotton gin” or a “light bulb,” even though a cotton gin and a light bulb were once inventive. It doesn’t help to use things as proxies for inventions. An invention … Continue reading

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University inventions that aren’t exactly worthless-4

If we work through these issues, it is apparent that it is a very special case where an invention cannot be used unless it is first productized, and that such productization will not be undertaken by the federal government, or … Continue reading

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University inventions that aren’t exactly worthless-2

Companies, it turns out, are pretty good at evaluating inventions that are “worth” something to them. Companies with large research enterprises appear to be less good than others, however. The story at Xerox PARC was that inventors hoped that their … Continue reading

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University inventions that aren’t exactly worthless-1

Let’s work the logic of university administrators thinking, ahem, about innovation. We have to do this sort of thing because it appears few university administrators bother with logic. Logic certainly is easily distracted by fallacies and is perhaps then overrated. … Continue reading

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Bayh-Dole Rooster Farms

In February 2019, ILR Review published “Academic Entrepreneurship: The Bayh-Dole Act versus the Professor’s Privilege.” The article is paywalled, but a slide version of the paper by the authors is available at the National Academies website. The authors compare U.S. … Continue reading

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