Edited by Jacob H. Rooksby
Since the 1950s, universities have increasingly sought patent protection for the inventions and discoveries they generate, especially after the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 encouraged university patents. However, university patent practices have become misaligned with the public-facing purposes of the university and created market inefficiencies. This Chapter discusses the history of university patents and the comparative advantages and disadvantages of university technology transfer offices. And it offers potential solutions to problems with university patents, including: greater clarity of the requirements for patentability under the Patent Act; more scrupulous review by universities of the innovations they seek to patent; greater scrutiny by grantmakers of the kinds of university research and development they sponsor; stronger march-in rights for the government in patents produced from federally-funded research; and cost- and benefit-sharing among universities through patent pools.
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