Perspectives from Law, Economics and Political Economy
New Horizons in Intellectual Property series
Edited by Meir Perez Pugatch
Chapter 8: University Technology Transfer Policy Matters: Is it Time for a ‘Bayh-Dole Modernization Act’?
8. University technology transfer policy matters: is it time for a ‘BayhDole Modernization Act’? Robin J.R. Blatt INTRODUCTION Public support and funding for scientiﬁc research and development (R&D) in the life sciences has increased exponentially during the recent decades in the United States (US). The US leads the world in government ﬁnancing and support for non-military research R&D, especially support for work that directly relates to health and human development. A signiﬁcant portion of federally funded research has led to a wide spectrum of novel basic and clinical research discoveries – all of which generally require commercial partners in order to develop them into products for hospital, physician or patient use.1 As a result, trends in federal science funding have fueled innovation, enabling academic scientists and universities to both progress and prosper. At the same time, a signiﬁcant paradigm shift in science and technology policy also has occurred. For the past quarter of a century, since the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act of 19802 and the Stevenson-Wylder Technology Innovation Act 3,3 US federal funding priorities have been geared toward promoting ‘science with commercial twist’. These Acts have provided notfor-proﬁt agencies (such as universities) and businesses with a series of incentives and rights, including ownership rights to technology and innovations developed through federally funded research and the ability to patent and license discoveries, in order to promote commercial applications for both public and economic beneﬁt. Today, most public and private universities in the US...
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