Judicial Lawmaking and the Influence of Comparative Law
Edited by John O. Haley and Toshiko Takenaka
Chapter 5.3: What are the challenges awaiting the Thai government if the Bayh-Dole Act is adopted in Thailand?
Over the past decade, many developing countries have passed their laws sharing a concept similar to that of the United States (US) Bayh- Dole Act (hereinafter “BD Act”), that ownership of governmentfunded intellectual property shall vest into grant recipients under certain conditions. The Thai government is moving toward a similar direction, which is to adopt the ownership concept of government-funded research to their intellectual property (IP) system. Whether or not the Bayh-Dole concept is a proper model for developing countries is a key question frequently critiqued by many academics in the US. This chapter argues that the concept of IP ownership alone would not work in a different research and technology transfer enviroment like Thailand. Instead, other factors are required in order to improve the technology transfer system. Unlike the US federal funding agencies that require uniform IP policy with the goal to promote technology transfer from public sectors to industries, the Thai government considers adopting the Bayh-Dole Act concept based on different grounds. There are fewer than ten government funding agencies who play an essential role in promoting good science in Thailand. In most cases, government funding agencies shall co-own funded IP with their grant recipients. Under Thai Patent law, licensing or any assignments of the patent title requires the consent of the coowner in writing. This frequently creates bureacracy and further delays licensing transactions.
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