We turn then to the final claim made by AUTM in its “talking points”–the stuff any advocate of Bayh-Dole ought to be repeating to legislators and faculty and anyone else appearing to lack sufficient self-delusion–that none of the fakery presented in the talking points paragraph would be possible without Bayh-Dole:
This would not have been possible without the Bayh-Dole Act.
Before the Bayh-Dole Act, the NIH and NSF operated IPA programs that permitted universities to take ownership of inventions made with agency support. Those programs were shut down as ineffective. Bayh-Dole was drafted by the same folks who did the IPA program, and introduced as legislation the year after the IPAs went down. Everything AUTM attributes to Bayh-Dole was done and could have been done under an IPA program. Moreover, the Kennedy and Nixon executive branch patent policies provided for contractors to own inventions, subject to federal agency approval for those contractors that didn’t have an existing commercial position–such as universities. So even without an IPA program (with its own subterfuges and end-runs), universities could deal in patent monopolies if they really wanted to. Furthermore, prior to Bayh-Dole and outside of the IPA programs, drugs and vaccines were developed with federal support but not by means of a university-brokered trade in patent monopolies. The Salk vaccine for polio, for instance. Or drugs to treat childhood leukemia.
AUTM recites a fake history, fake outcomes, calls it a success, attributes it all to Bayh-Dole. Pretty cool move. Continue reading