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Posts Tagged ‘ bayh-dole ’

Leveraging Spin-Out Companies to Support Global Health

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 9, 2014 @ 9:00 am | Written by Erik Iverson | No Comments »
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Posted in: Biotechnology, Guest Contributors, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Licensing, Patents, Pharmaceutical, Technology & Innovation, Universities

Recently IPWatchdog.com published an article that cited the work we do at the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) as an example of how dedicated individuals and corporations can work together to transform science into global health solutions. By integrating capabilities, we strive to create an efficient pathway to bring scientific innovation from the lab to the people who need it most.

I write today to explain more about what IDRI does and why leveraging spin-out companies supports global health initiatives.

One of the most important engines in populating and growing the life sciences sector within the United States is the practice of universities spinning out new technologies into startup biotechnology companies. This, in turn, drives the development of new drugs, vaccines and other much-needed health products.



Git’er Done! Take the Brake Off Federal Tech Transfer

Posted: Monday, Apr 7, 2014 @ 1:00 pm | Written by Joseph Allen | 3 comments
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Posted in: Bayh-Dole, Government, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Joe Allen, Technology & Innovation, Technology Transfer, Universities, White House

After seeing how the federal agencies intend to implement the recommendations from The White House Lab to Market Summit the difference between product and process oriented people really hit home.

Product people burn with a passion to get the job done. Process people focus on rules and procedures to minimize risk.  Thus, product people are like the accelerator and process people are the brakes.  You need both in your car, but if the brakes run the show you’ll never get out of the driveway.  Similarly, whenever deal makers are subservient in a system to process people, frustration is sure to follow.

Last year the White House put together its Lab to Market Summit and asked Diane Palmintera and me to co-chair a panel of external experts to review several innovative agency technology transfer programs and come up with “transformational, not incremental” ideas to increase the commercialization of $140 B of federally funded research.



Hunting Bayh-Dole Vampires

Posted: Sunday, Mar 23, 2014 @ 12:30 pm | Written by Joseph Allen | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Joe Allen, Patents, Pharmaceutical, Technology & Innovation, Technology Transfer, Universities

Steel yourself, gentle reader.  This month we go hunting the living dead:  arguments that keep climbing out of the grave to bite and infect the unwary.

Four months after NIH rejected the latest attempt to misuse the Bayh-Dole Act to control drug prices zealots have risen from the crypt claiming the law should be used to haunt drug developers. March-in rights were designed to force universities to issue additional licenses if effective efforts are not being made to commercialize a federally funded invention; if the licensee cannot meet national health, safety or regulatory needs; or if the licensee fails to make the product in the U.S. despite a pledge to do so.

Critics claim there’s another trigger: if they don’t like the price of a drug.  While the cost of new drugs is a concern, their solution sucks the life blood out of a system leading the world in protecting public health. It’s time to drive a stake through that spectre.



It’s Not Paranoia – They Really Are After You

Posted: Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 @ 10:10 am | Written by Joseph Allen | 8 comments
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Posted in: AUTM, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Joe Allen, Patents, Technology & Innovation, Universities

This month’s column is based on my remarks to the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) at their annual meeting in San Francisco.

First of all, congratulations!  You made The Washington Post and they even spelled your name correctly.  Unfortunately, AUTM was specifically called out in an article titled Patent Trolls Have a Surprising Ally: Universities.  The name of another article appearing at the same time Patenting University Research Has Been a Dismal Failure, Enabling Patent Trolls: It’s Time to Stop while long winded speaks for itself.  And two innocuous sounding reports from the Brookings Institution Building an Innovation Based Economy and University Start-Ups: Critical for Tech Transfer say that Congress should amend the Bayh-Dole Act to give the federal government control over whether you can grant exclusive licenses, that you have been unsuccessful as most technology transfer offices are not self-supporting, that your business orientation conflicts with the mission of a university and your alleged model of “licensing to the highest bidder” has failed. The New York Times accurately summarized the intended message in its headline Patenting Their Discoveries Does Not Pay Off for Most Universities.

For a profession that keeps a low profile and goes out of its way not to antagonize people, you may wonder what in the world’s going on that you are gaining such notoriety.  The answer is that you are in the sights of several groups who do not wish you well.  Some want to weaken the patent system for their short term benefit, some believe society would be better off if inventions were freely available without patents; some don’t think it’s moral for universities to work with industry, and others believe they should determine who reaps the rewards of innovation.  While operating on diverse belief systems, they all have one thing in common: they don’t like you.



Does University Patent Licensing Pay Off?

Posted: Monday, Jan 27, 2014 @ 1:54 pm | Written by Joseph Allen | 3 comments
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Posted in: Biotechnology, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Joe Allen, National Institutes of Health, Technology & Innovation, Technology Transfer

A recent study from the Brookings Institution University Start-Ups: Critical for Improving Technology Transfer received a lot of coverage in the national media.  While the title implies the focus is on expanding academic start-up formation (a laudable goal), The New York Times headline accurately reflects the real message: Patenting Their Discoveries Does Not Pay Off for Most Universities.

The report makes some good recommendations for increasing support for start-up formation, but implies that most university technology transfer offices (TTO’s) are not worth their cost because they are not self-supporting through patent licensing income.  As Brookings acknowledges, universities spend the vast majority of their licensing revenues rewarding inventors or funding new research, not in supporting technology transfer operations.  Brookings recommends that universities shift focus from patent licensing to start-up formation.

Ironically, recommendations from a preceding Brookings study would make both start- up formation and patent licensing more difficult.



Standing Up to the Anti-Patent Beanball

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 @ 7:01 pm | Written by Joseph Allen | 65 comments
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Posted in: Anti-patent Nonsense, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Joe Allen, Patent Trolls, Patents, Technology & Innovation

Baseball is a good analogy for politics, which is why political talk shows have names like “Hard Ball.”  A defining moment for any hitter is realizing that a 95 mile an hour fastball has just been deliberately thrown at your head.  Pitchers throw the “beanball” is to see if a batter has the courage to play the game knowing that the risk of serious injury is literally an inch away.  As former Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax said: “Pitching is the art of instilling fear.”

A similar challenge is delivered to those who get in the way of well-funded lobbyist’s campaigns. An equivalent of the beanball is the attack article in the Washington Post, the paper of record for the political class.  So it should not be surprising that as soon as universities announced that they could not support the House patent reform bill in its current form that a beanball was immediately headed their way.

“The pitcher has to find out if the hitter is timid.  And if the hitter is timid, he has to remind the hitter that he’s timid” said Don Drysdale, a pitcher who built a career successfully intimidating batters. In baseball and politics the message behind the pitch is the same: “Kid, are you sure you want to take me on?”



NIH Gets It Right: Bayh-Dole is not for Price Controls

Posted: Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 @ 12:25 pm | Written by Joseph Allen | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Joe Allen, National Institutes of Health, Patents, Universities

Dr. Francis Collins, Director of NIH

The National Institutes of Health recently made its long anticipated ruling on a petition seeking to use the “march in” provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act as a mechanism for the government to control prices on drugs derived from federally-funded research by issuing compulsory licenses.

NIH correctly ruled that such actions are not sanctioned under the law. Three succeeding NIH directors have reached the same conclusion: the march in rights provision was never intended as a price control mechanism.  Hopefully, the third time is the charm.

The petition was a reiteration of one dismissed in 2004 seeking to have the government march in to control the price of Norvir, part of the AIDS “cocktail.”  Norvir was invented by Abbott Laboratories with partial NIH funding, thus it falls under the Bayh-Dole Act which grants ownership of federally funded inventions to universities and industry contractors so they can be developed for public use.

Before Bayh-Dole not a single drug was commercialized when the government took patent rights away from inventing organizations. Under the law at least 153 new drugs and vaccines are now alleviating human suffering world-wide.



Bayh-Dole: A Success Beyond Wildest Dreams

Posted: Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 @ 9:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | No Comments »
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Technology & Innovation, Technology Transfer, Universities
Senator Birch Bayh (ret.)

Senator Birch Bayh (ret.)

Recently in the news you may have read that some are questioning the success, viability and wisdom of Universities owning patents, pushing back against University patent rights in order to raise a debate over the usefulness of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980. While perhaps predictable it is rather sad given the unquestionable truth that Bayh-Dole has been extraordinarily successful. The Economist wrote: “Possibly the most inspired piece of legislation to be enacted in America over the past half-century was the Bayh-Dole act of 1980… More than anything, this single policy measure helped reverse America’s precipitous slide into industrial irrelevance.” Economist Technology Quarterly, Dec. 14, 2002. Lofty praise indeed, but the facts back up the claim.

The facts are overwhelmingly on the side of those who know and understand that Bayh-Dole has been a thorough and profound success. Indeed, if you actually look at the facts no one could ever objectively question whether Bayh-Dole is succeeding or has been good. Yet, year after year supposed experts and scholars choose to ignore the objective data and question whether we should go back to the way it used to be — back when no University technology was commercialized due to the enormous red-tape involved.

This isn’t just a philosophical debate. There is a right and a wrong answer, and to think that the New England Journal of Medicine would aline themselves with the clear and objectively wrong answer would be astonishing if it weren’t so predictable. The agenda of those who despite patents and the progress of science thanks to incentivizing behavior knows no boundaries.

Of course it would be wonderful to live in a world where self-interest takes a back seat to humanitarian efforts and altruism on all occasions; where financial incentives are not required to promote the greater social good. That, however, is not the world we live in and the regimes where this economic philosophy has been tried have unanimously faltered or failed. If we want maximum good for society pursuing a path that results in maximum good ought to be the agenda, not some pollyannish pursuit of the impossible because it feels better or fits into some pre-ordained social narrative that some deem acceptable. Failure for an altruistic reason is still failure, and when we are talking about the economy, jobs and hundreds of life saving treatments and cures the right thing is to do the most good. It is truly a pity that some would choose not to maximize social good simply because it means someone else will make money in the process.