Category Archives: History

Lessons from The Sound of Innovation: Lesson 1, On the Border

In The Sound of Innovation: Stanford and the Computer Music Revolution, Andrew J. Nelson recounts how John Chowning and others developed digital music while working in between the cracks of computer science, music, and electrical engineering. Nelson emphasizes this situation … Continue reading

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Five Steps to Restoring an Effective University IP Practice, Step 4

We are working through five steps to getting a university back to an effective IP practice, a practice aligned with academic values and focused on actual technology transfer. The idea of “technology transfer” is bureaucratic in origin. As a concept … Continue reading

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Latkerstein’s Monster, 2

The monopoly meme argument is that no one would have ever received any cisplatin if not for an exclusive license to motivate a big drug company to “develop” the drug as a product. Left out is the idea that the … Continue reading

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Latkerstein’s Monster, 1

I ran a Twitter thread on this topic. Here’s more of the same. The Bayh-Dole Coalition describes Bayh-Dole as part of a “delicate balance of the university techtransfer system.” My experience differs. There is no “delicate balance.” Bayh-Dole is a … Continue reading

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How they screwed over Senator Long and inventors after Bayh-Dole

The miracle of Bayh-Dole came about, so the story is told, because Senator Long, the arch-critic of Bayh-Dole (“the worst bill I’ve seen in my life”), suddenly flipped his position to give Senator Bayh a consolation gift for losing his … Continue reading

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The use of the patent system for federal research results, 13: The failed middle ground

We’ve looked at the early Federal Security Administration policy on inventions made in federally contracted work–FSA order 110-1, issued in 1952. The government’s policy as set forth in David Lloyd Kreeger’s report for the Attorney General in 1947 was that … Continue reading

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Dr. Irene Till, Pharma Monopoly, and the Bayh-Dole Heist

In a recent Twitter post, Prof. Richard R. John at Columbia University (@RrjohnR) asks for suggestions for a bibliography of “scholarship on the history of anti-monopoly since 1945.” One respondent cites Elizabeth Popp Berman “Why Universities Patent” (well, Prof. Berman … Continue reading

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What Bayh-Dole has stolen from us

In an article published August 29, 2021 in The Intercept, Alexander Zaitchik describes the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act as “The Great American Science Heist,” with the subtitle “How the Bayh-Dole Act Wrested Public Science From the People’s Hands.” He … Continue reading

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The use of the patent system for federal research results, 10: the drivers that eventually produce Bayh-Dole

There’s the version of the theory of patent rights that asserts that exclusionary practice is at the heart of the value of a patent, and any practice that declines to assert a patent wastes that value. This theory of exclusionary … Continue reading

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The use of the patent system for federal research results, 8: Exploiting the use of the patent system

FSA policy 110, the first agency attempt at making a policy to deal with inventions made in federally supported public health research, tries to establish a middle ground for the use of patents. While clearly endorsing open access, including royalty-free … Continue reading

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