Posts Tagged: "R&D"

CHIPS and Science Act Neglects the Importance of IP Rights in Encouraging American Innovators

On August 9, President Joe Biden signed into law the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act, enacting a major legislative package that will provide $280 billion in federal funding to encourage the domestic production of semiconductor products in the United States as well as fund research and development projects in advanced technological fields like quantum computing and artificial intelligence. Although the 1,000+ page bill establishes massive investments into several areas of developing technologies, it focuses very little on the intellectual property rights that are critical for protecting the new technologies that would be developed through federally funded projects.

The Bayh-Dole System Just Keeps Rollin’ Along – Despite Attempts to Throw it Off Track

How about some good economic news? That’s in short supply these days as the nation teeters on the brink of recession, driven by raging inflation and skyrocketing gas prices. But in good times and bad, our technology transfer system created by the Bayh-Dole Act just keeps chugging along. A just released study by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and AUTM, which represents the academic technology management profession, shows that academic patent licensing contributed up to $1.9 trillion to the U.S. economy while supporting 6.5 million jobs between 1996 – 2020. Even more impressively, this impact increased substantially since the last survey was released three years ago. That showed an economic impact of $1.7 trillion with 5.9 million jobs supported.

Mr. President: Don’t Undermine Innovation Under the Guise of Boosting Domestic Manufacturing

You might think the last thing the President needs as his poll numbers are plunging is pressure to make an unforced blunder crippling U.S. innovation. Under the pretext of expanding U.S. manufacturing capability, some are pushing a provision to a pending Executive Order on manufacturing allowing the bureaucracy to micromanage our technology transfer system. That’s already happened at the Department of Energy (DOE), and the disastrous consequences are just becoming apparent. This is being sold as a way of increasing domestic manufacturing capacity, which is rightly a priority of President Biden. But extending a flawed idea across all R&D agencies undermines the public/private R&D partnerships which restored our technological leadership—without doing a thing to broaden our manufacturing base.

House Passes the America COMPETES Act as Response to Senate’s China Competition Bill

On February 4, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a major piece of legislation known as the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act of 2022, which is the House’s counterpart to the U.S. Senate’s United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021. While both bills are designed to improve America’s competitiveness in several key technology areas over foreign economic rivals, especially China, some IP advocates are pointing out that the bill provides little more than lip service on protecting American IP rights against Chinese infringers.

The United States Must Step Up Its Support for R&D, Education

History is often defined by its most important technology, giving us eras such as the Bronze Age and the Industrial Revolution. Given their importance, the modern era may go down as the Semiconductor Age. But unless the United States begins making needed investments in this and other key technologies, the future may wind up being the Age of China. It is hard to overstate the importance of semiconductors. The most sophisticated of these computer chips help to control computers, airplanes, and even modern weapons systems. Less sophisticated versions are still critical components of our daily lives and power automobiles, TVs and home appliances. From an economic and national security standpoint, controlling our supply of semiconductors should be essential. Yet, U.S. companies have spent decades outsourcing and consolidating the manufacturing of this essential technology to other countries.         

The Innovation Ecosystem Behind COVID Vaccines is Now Targeting HIV/AIDS

June marked the 40th anniversary of the first reported AIDS case. On the anniversary, UNAIDS released a strategy to end HIV/AIDS by 2030, a goal that seemed unthinkable over 40 years ago. Yet since 1981, the innovative scientific community has delivered a series of treatments that revolutionized the outlook for HIV/AIDS patients. Those early days of 1981 were not unlike what we experienced with coronavirus last spring. Hospitals began to see cases of a mysterious pneumonia with few options for how to treat it, just as physicians across the country struggled to identify effective treatments for COVID-19 patients last March. Indeed, Dr. Anthony Fauci – who dedicated 40 years of his career to combatting HIV/AIDS – recalled “the first few years were the darkest years of my medical career, because I was working countless hours taking care of desperately ill young men.”

Stand Up to the Attacks on Our Tech Transfer System

It’s hard to believe that, not too long ago, alliances between the public and private sectors were unheard of unless the government was picking up the entire tab. After World War II, the policy was that if the government funded even a small percentage of the research, it would take any resulting inventions away from those who created them to make the discovery readily available to anyone and everyone. While that might sound noble, it was a death knell for commercialization because then, like now, these discoveries required significant private sector effort and investment to turn into commercial products. The result was that not only were few government funded inventions ever developed, but even worse, companies avoided alliances with government funded institutions.

United States is Third Again in WIPO Global Innovation Index 2020

Last week, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) issued the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020 report jointly with Cornell University, INSEAD and the 2020 GII Knowledge Partners, which included The Confederation of Indian Industry, Dassault Systèmes – the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, and The National Confederation of Industry (CNI) – Brazil. The report showed that the United States remains in third place behind Switzerland and Sweden in WIPO’s ranking of global economies in terms of innovation capacity and output.

ITIF Report Recommends Enhanced U.S. Tax Incentives for R&D

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) yesterday released a report authored by John Lester and Jacek Warda, titled “Enhanced Tax Incentives for R&D Would Make Americans Richer.” The ITIF is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute that focuses on technological innovation and public policy. The report explained that many countries seek to increase innovation and, therefore, provide tax support to companies to incentivize them to perform research and development (R&D). The report also explained that United States falls “behind comparable countries in the level of tax support it provides to spur research and development” and that increasing such tax support or incentives would likely result in a boost in “Americans’ real incomes through innovation, productivity, and competitiveness.”

USIJ Report Reveals Consequences of a Weakened U.S. Patent System

There is a symbiotic relationship between innovation and patents. The innovation that we say we most want is cutting-edge innovation that requires time, money and determination to bring into being.Unfortunately, paradigm shifting innovation does not come cheap. And patents are the lifeblood of this type of disruptive innovation. Those within the industry know this to be the case, and today the Alliance of U.S. Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) released a report detailing a comprehensive study that confirms the importance of patents and the consequences of a patent system in the United States that has veered away from strong protections for innovators and toward rules and laws that make it ever easier for implementers to copy the innovations of creators without remuneration.

Everything Depends on Coronavirus R&D Partnerships—Don’t Let the Critics Wreck Them

The world is teetering on the brink of a public health and economic catastrophe, depending on emergency partnerships between our public and private sectors to develop a successful treatment for the coronavirus. If there was ever a time to be thankful that we have policies in place making that possible, it’s now. But there are those who want to use this crisis to return to the failed policies of the past. Here’s the bottom line: the Bayh-Dole Act works. It allows the private sector to collaborate with universities and federal laboratories, like the National Institutes of Health, knowing that intellectual property they bring into such partnerships will be protected. It also allows academic institutions and federal labs to determine what type of license is best suited to promptly commercialize their inventions.

Identifying the Crucial Qualities of Great IP Managers

IPWatchdog readers know the importance of capturing IP, whether it is patents, trademarks, copyrights, or trade secrets. This article isn’t detailing technical tips for filing patents or how to corner a strategic area of the market; the difference between a good and a great IP Manager is leadership. Capturing IP is one of many responsibilities of the IP Manager that falls in the middle of functional silos within technology companies, resulting in cross-functional barriers that must be navigated to achieve any measure of success. While the goal is to create a strong IP portfolio, the business is people. When in the middle of functional silos, the IP Manager often relies on influence, not authority, to overcome cross-functional barriers. This requires true leadership.

Severing the Link Between IP and Biomedical Innovation Isn’t the Answer to Global Health Care Challenges

The cost of medicines is on the agenda this week at the World Health Organization’s annual executive board meeting in Geneva. Nongovernmental organizations and certain middle-income countries argue that market-based drug development—reliant on intellectual property rights (IPRs) as its primary incentive—makes medicines too expensive. It fails, they say, to provide cures for those most in need but least able to pay. On the fringes of meetings such as the one happening this week, nongovernmental organizations talk excitedly about a new model for drug development, in which research and development (R&D) costs are “delinked” from the final prices of drugs. They join notables such as U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. One of the main “delinkage” proposals is to replace the patent system with government-managed prizes.

From Research to Market Value: Innovation Value Teams

In a recent article in Harvard Business Review, “Real Innovation Requires More Than an R&D Budget,” Dr. Gina O’Connor makes the case for having three capabilities for any innovation initiative: Discovery, Incubation, and Acceleration (DIA), in which R&D is only a portion of Discovery. In my experience with multiple companies, Discovery was allowed as long as Senior Management didn’t know about it, Incubation had a zero-dollar budget, and Acceleration only happened by chance. But since a few ideas made it out of the so-called “innovation pipeline”, there was the appearance that innovation was working. And I admit, the few ideas that made it into products were pretty good. Ours was a haphazard process at best, however. O’Connor further attempts to connect R&D to market value, which is admittedly difficult for those that have tried. It is nearly impossible from a third-party perspective, using only publicly available data. She asserts that the best third-party correlation occurs when there are dedicated innovation teams, and when the company goes public with their innovation efforts. But from my experience, connecting R&D to market value is much more complex.

Three Key Strategies for Adapting Patent Departments to Agile Innovation Settings

As companies grow their digital business, many R&D organizations transition to Agile innovation practices*, both in software and hardware development. Any implementation of Agile leads to key changes in how firms innovate. Changes include how R&D objectives are set, how resource prioritizations are made, and how fast development cycles are run. Instead of the traditional approach of setting goals early on and seeing changes as unwanted deviations from plan, Agile brings a state of constant evolution, as Agile teams find, solve and reformulate problems to create as much customer value as possible. Resource prioritization is more active and selective as Agile empowers and requires teams to direct resources to the features and unsolved problems with highest priority. Development cycles shorten as Agile emphasizes quick sprints with autonomous teams having end-to-end skills.