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Spread the Word About Tech Transfer – It Works!


Written by Gene Quinn
Patent Attorney & Founder of IPWatchdog
Zies, Widerman & Malek
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Posted: Feb 21, 2014 @ 10:50 am
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Later today I will be speaking on a panel at the 2014 AUTM annual meeting entitled Getting the Word Out — Technology Transfer Works!  The panel will be moderated by Jennifer Gottwald of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). On the panel with me are Joe Allen, Bob Stoll and Kevin Noonan. The conversation should be lively, opinionated and definitely entertaining. We are all believers in University research and development, the patent system and the objective good that Bayh-Dole has done for the entire industry.

One of the things that I will be speaking about directly is how to get the positive message out about what is going on in laboratories all across the country. There are forces that continue to question the value of Bayh-Dole and would love nothing more than to go backwards to the days prior to 1980. That would mean little or no technology transfer from Universities, which is exactly why Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN, ret.) worked to pass Bayh-Dole. Yes, these forces ignore the facts showing conclusively that Bayh-Dole is an objective success. See Bayh-Dole Successful Beyond Wildest Dreams. If I had to come up with one fact that is a perfect example it would be this: prior to passage of Bayh-Dole a grand total of zero drugs discovered at Universities were commercialized, but since passage of Bayh-Dole there have been over 150 drugs commercialized.

Unfortunately, facts and reality do not stop the challenges by those skeptical of Bayh-Dole and the critical role Universities play in many of the greatest foundational discoveries and innovations ever made. To combat this skepticism, which is probably more correctly characterized as willful ignorance, news needs to flood the marketplace of ideas celebrating the fundamentally important, ground breaking innovations that happen all the time at American Universities.

At IPWatchdog.com we write about Bayh-Dole, technology transfer and University innovation regularly. In 2014 we are going to more regularly write about University innovations in the hope of getting good information out to the public to demonstrate the important role of Bayh- Dole and the innovations coming from Universities.

Help us help you! Below is a list of the information that would be extremely helpful to have, much of which we could not obtain publicly.  Critical to a good, interesting story is conveying the back story, which may be about why the inventor pursued this path in the first place or perhaps about real people who have benefit from the innovation. I understand that  some of the following piece of information may be deemed to be confidential, but the more you provide the more substantive and interesting any article can be, which will lead to greater “good publicity,” which patent owners sorely need in this political climate.

If you would like IPWatchdog.com to cover your University innovations please use this contact form to send us information on the following:

  1. Name of the Inventor(s), with a brief bio (one or two sentences) on each.
  2. Name of any entities that contributed to the discovery/innovation. If there is a joint research agreement or collaboration please identify with as much detail as you can.
  3. Was there any federal money used to create the discovery/innovation? If yes, please provide whatever information you can, but specifically the name of the agency providing the funds.
  4. Are there any published patent applications or issued patents relating to the discovery/innovation? If yes, please provide the patent or patent publication number(s).
  5. In lay terms, why is this innovation exciting and/or potentially important? This question is critical! If had to explain the importance of the invention in 15 seconds to the President of the United States or Governor of your State, what would you say to them? What is the backstory that a lay person would see as compelling?
  6. Are there any licenses that have been granted to the discovery/innovation or any of the patents or patent applications? If yes, please provide whatever information you can. If the terms of the license are confidential that is fine, just knowing that one or more licenses have been granted is helpful. If confidential, what information can you provide? Is it a small tech company? Is it a large corporation? Is it a start-up?
  7. Have any jobs been created as the result of the discovery/innovation? If yes, how many? As much information as you can provide on this point will be extremely helpful.
  8. What additional research is being conducted by the inventor(s) relative to the discovery/innovation? Why is this additional research interesting or exciting?
  9. Who should be contacted in the event a company is interested in pursuing a license to the discovery/innovation?
  10. Please add any self-serving, feel good, congratulatory statement from the University President, Department Chair, Dean, etc.

About the Author

is a US Patent Attorney, law professor and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. He is also a principal lecturer in the top patent bar review course in the nation, which helps aspiring patent attorneys and patent agents prepare themselves to pass the patent bar exam. Gene started the widely popular intellectual property website IPWatchdog.com in 1999, and since that time the site has had many millions of unique visitors. Gene has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the LA Times, USA Today, CNN Money, NPR and various other newspapers and magazines worldwide. He represents individuals, small businesses and start-up corporations. As an electrical engineer with a computer engineering focus his specialty is electronic and computer devices, Internet applications, software and business methods.

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