Tag Archives: invention

An invention is not a thing, 8

The question to ask is not what was intended by Bayh-Dole but rather what ought to be federal policy regarding inventions made in work for which those involved have gone out of their way to apply for federal funding. As … Continue reading

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An invention is not a thing, 7

Here we start to get at this problem of an invention not being a thing. The instance of an invention that might get one a patent is not necessarily the instance that one would build as a prototype. Furthermore, the … 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, 3: Some university policy definitions of invention

An invention is not a thing. An invention is a set of practices and objects. Invention is broader than just what’s patentable, as is the case with Bayh-Dole’s definition of invention, which includes stuff that’s not patentable and stuff that … 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-3

To show the limits of policy rationalizations over the university use of patents to benefit the public, let’s consider only those university inventions that have “worth”–that aren’t (in the eyes of university administrators, at least) “worthless.” If we work this … 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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