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The Intellectual Property Debate

Perspectives from Law, Economics and Political Economy

Edited by Meir Perez Pugatch

Intellectual property (IP) has become one of the most influential and controversial issues in today’s knowledge-based society. This challenging book exposes the reader to key issues at the heart of the public debate now taking place in the field of IP. It considers IP at the macro level where it affects many issues. These include: international trade policy, ownership of breakthrough technologies, foreign direct investment, innovation climates, public–private partnerships, competition rules and public health where it is strongly embedded in contemporary business decision making.
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Chapter 8: University Technology Transfer Policy Matters: Is it Time for a ‘Bayh-Dole Modernization Act’?

Robin J.R. Blatt


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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