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Joseph Allen

Joe Allen is a Featured Contributor on IPWatchdog.com, and a 30-year veteran of national efforts to foster public/private sector commercialization partnerships, and author of numerous articles on technology management for national publications.

Joe served as a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee with former Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN), and was instrumental in working behind the scenes to ensure passage of the historic Bayh-Dole Act. He is our resident Bayh-Dole expert, and will write frequently about Bayh-Dole and issues surrounding the commercialization of university research.

In 2008, Joe founded Allen & Associates, through which he offers consulting services assisting clients in technology transfer issues, including developing effective communication strategies with national policy makers.

Recent Articles by Joseph Allen

Knowledge Ecology International’s New March-In Petition is Déjà vu All Over Again – With One Twist

Some say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different outcome. That would appear to be the case with the recent refiling of a petition by Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) asking it to march in under the Bayh-Dole Act to force licensing to additional parties of the prostate cancer drug Xtandi, because of its cost. The law allows academic institutions, companies and federal laboratories to own and license inventions made with government support. Similar petitions were rejected by NIH and the Department of Defense (which funded the research on the underlying invention) in the Obama/Biden Administration for a simple reason: the law is for the commercialization of federally funded inventions; it does not allow the government to set prices for successful products.

Senator Bob Dole: A Staunch Defender of His Country, and Our Patent System

If you’re going into a desperate fight, there are some people that you want on your side. One was Robert Dole, who passed away yesterday, December 5, at 98 years old….. It was characteristic of his generation—and of Bob Dole—to honor his fallen colleagues, even when he was bound in a wheelchair. Few who saw it will ever forget Senator Dole insisting on getting up and walking to the coffin of his friend, Senator Daniel Inouye, who lost an arm fighting in Italy, close to where Dole was wounded. Even though his health was deteriorating last year when we honored Bayh-Dole’s 40th anniversary, Senator Dole made a very gracious video tribute to his former colleague, Senator Birch Bayh. That Birch Bayh and Daniel Inouye were Democrats made no difference to Bob Dole.

Let No Good Deed Go Unpunished—The Tale of a COVID-19 Breakthrough

The lead story in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal made an exciting announcement: “Merck Covid-19 Pill Cuts Risks of Hospitalizations and Death”: “Merck & Co. and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP said their experimental Covid-19 pill helped prevent high-risk people early in the course of the disease in a pivotal study from becoming seriously ill and dying, a big step toward providing the pandemic’s first easy-to-use, at home treatment.” In case its readers missed the significance, the same issue included an editorial, “There May Soon Be a Covid Pill”, stating: “In what is rare good news these days, Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said Friday that their Covid pill molnupiravir reduced hospitalizations by about half… Since the beginning of the pandemic, doctors have been hoping for an oral antiviral that could prevent recently infected patients from getting sicker… Merck has also signed licensing agreements with generic manufacturers to accelerate the pills availability world-wide. Manufacturers in low-income countries don’t need special expertise and supervision to produce the pills, unlike with Covid vaccines. Molnupirvir can be easily distributed in poorer countries… Evidence also indicates that the drug is effective against different variants and is unlikely to produce viral resistance.” The partnership between Emory University, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck could turn out to be one of the most significant Bayh-Dole alliances ever, yet just a few months ago all three were under fire. And the critics are renewing their attacks.

A Pandemic Can’t Stop Bayh-Dole—But Politicians Might

What would you say about a technology commercialization system that kept on performing even through the worst pandemic in over a century? How about if it improved its performance over the previous year and was a critical factor in developing desperately needed therapies to protect people around the world? Would it seem reasonable that this was something that all of us should highly value and want to protect? You might think so, but some in Washington apparently don’t agree.