Research patent price setting as pro-innovation

Here is an insightful piece of work on new approaches to patent licensing for universities.

Jonathan Hillel, “Legal Trubulence after Leegin: New Possibilities for Patent Licensing at Research Institutions.”

Hillel looks at anti-trust issues related to price setting and argues that after the Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc. case, there are reasons to believe a research institution could without violating the Sherman Act dictate price, for a period of time early in the life of a new technology. Doing so would allow non-exclusive licensing while preserving for the licensees advantages arising from holding a license to fundamental patents. Hillel suggests that by setting a price, a research institution gives incentives for early adopters to reinvest in the development of the technology, and that these re-investments will create new, licensee-held IP that can be monetized as new companies enter the emerging area of technology practice.

Hillel argues that “the economic incentives of a research patentee align with those of consumers, and the licensor benefits from lower prices at retail.”  This is worth evaluating. The broader idea, that an early phase non-exclusive with price setting followed by an open phase without price setting is also worth considering.

This entry was posted in Technology Transfer. Bookmark the permalink.