Posts Tagged: "Technology Transfer"

University Tech Licensing Has Substantial Impact on Economy

In the case of product sales, 58 institutions (31 percent of the 186 respondents) reported that 2,821 of their licenses paid $662 million in running royalties based on $37 billion in product sales, implying an average royalty rate of 1.8 percent. In the case of startups, 66 institutions (35 percent of the 186 respondents) reported employment of 24,653 by 1,731 operational startups, an average of 14 employees per startup. Assuming all 3,927 startups still operational averaged 14 employees, total employment would have been 55,929.

Bayh-Dole Supporting Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Ongoing efforts to support student entrepreneurship and/or invention on campus included a variety of programs: 84% of schools have entrepreneurship classes, bootcamps or other similar programs; 72% have business plan competitions; 50% have incubators for student-owned companies; and 41% offer student entrepreneurship funding. “By supporting student innovation and entrepreneurship, AUTM hopes to see commercialization of student inventions grow just as we have seen growth in the commercialization of faculty inventions,” says AUTM Vice President for Membership Phyl Speser.

The Good Steward – Turning Federal R&D into Economic Growth

By SENATOR BIRCH BAYH — What should we say about a steward that manages billions of dollars in public research funds not aimed at finding commercial products and turns them in to hundreds of billions of dollars in economic impact while supporting millions of jobs? You would think that a sincere “thank you” was in order. But many are saying that the system producing such riches is broken. Remarkable. The Bayh-Dole Act created no new bureaucracy, costs taxpayers nothing, and decentralized technology management out of Washington. It’s widely touted as a key in turning the U.S. economy around.

University Licensing and Biotech IPRs Good for the Economy

Earlier in the week BIO also unveiled another report it commissioned and which was authored by Lori Pressman, David Roessner, Jennifer Bond, Sumiye Okubo, and Mark Planting. This report, titled Taking Stock: How Global Biotechnology Benefits from Intellectual Property Rights, discusses the role of intellectual property rights in encouraging upstream research and development as well as downstream commercialization of biotechnology. More specifically, the report outlines how intellectual property rights and technology transfer mechanisms encourage collaboration and lead to the research and development of new biotechnologies, particularly in emerging and developing economies.

IP Exchange Brings Market Principles to Patent Rights Acquisition

It is also probably correct to say that the current business model for licensing technologies is extremely inefficient, not only because of the lack of a central clearinghouse, but because many of those who would be most interested in acquiring rights to exciting new technologies are really too small to attract the interest of patent owners. Even if they are large enough to attract interest from patent owners it take real time and real money to acquire rights. You don’t simply walk into a neighborhood bodega and order the rights to X technology for Y dollars, put it into your knapsack and walk away. Negotiations are hardly standard, must take into account multiple unique scenarios and are like any other business deal — unique. That requires attorneys to get involved and we all know what happens then, right? Too frequently attorneys get in the way of doing a deal rather than facilitate one.

Will an Intellectual Property Licensing Exchange Work?

Preventing artificial supply-side constraints? Now my spidey-senses are activated. That sure has a familiar ring to it, doesn’t it? I am skeptical about the desire to eliminate market inefficiencies when combined with simultaneous attempts to drive down royalty payments, thereby compensating innovators only for some perceived benefit to the ultimate consumer. The goal of the first, to reduce inefficiencies in a bilateral licensing negotiation is laudable, but minimizing the “artificial supply side constraints” based on the market as viewed by the ultimate consumer is a recipe for undervaluing innovative value-adds. And let’s not forget that some (perhaps many) of these value-adds mean the difference between having desirable functionality or not, and having a viable product or not.

President Obama Orders Acceleration of Technology Transfer

Breakthroughs in science and engineering create foundations for new industries, new companies, and new jobs. This is undeniably true. The question is how do we unleash this engine of growth? I am in favor of streamlining the technology transfer process, but I believe that it needs to begin from within. Universities have to revise the view of their appropriate role. Universities are not supposed to be in the business of technology transfer to make money, but rather to facilitate the development of exciting new innovations while training the next generation of engineers and scientists. By developing exciting new innovations and then placing them into the private sector the University plays a vital role in the innovation economy. Under-funding and over-working technology transfer departments is counter-productive.

Jobs Council Seeks Open Source Approach to Tech Transfer

It would be bad enough if politicians did nothing once elected, but it seems that they have a knack for doing those things that will do the most harm. That is why one of the recommendations in the interim report has me rather concerned. On page 21 of the report the Jobs Council recommends: “the Administration should test an ‘open source’ approach to tech transfer and commercializations.” What does that even mean? It might sound good to some, and certainly is the “in thing” to recommend I suppose. After all, “open source” is the solution to all the problems of the world, right? Never mind that the open source community has yet to identify a long term, stable business model that makes money.

Shooting Ourselves in the Foot

Contrary to the tone of the Jobs Council report, U.S. academic technology commercialization made possible by Bayh-Dole is a world- wide recognized success. The law allowed universities and small companies to own and manage inventions arising from federally supported R&D. It decentralized technology management from Washington, allowing a market driven system to flourish. It did not create any new bureaucracy to select winners and losers. And it works in the hard, cold light of day.

University/Industry Partnerships Work: Don’t Kill the Golden Goose

If universities were run like businesses, they would not perform basic research designed to push forward the frontiers of learning. Indeed, industry has largely abandoned such research precisely because of its cost and risks. However, basic research is where breakthrough technologies such as biotechnology occur. The U.S. would be in dire straits if universities abandoned basic research seeking short term payoffs.

Supreme Court Affirms CAFC in Stanford v. Roche on Bayh-Dole

At issue in the case, essentially, was whether the extraordinarily successful Bayh-Dole legislation (enacted in 1980) automatically vested ownership of patent rights in Universities when the underlying research was federally funded. In a blow to the convention wisdom of Supreme Court patent-watchers, the Supreme Court actually affirmed the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Unlike some recent decisions where the result of the Federal Circuit was affirmed but a wholly new test announced, the Supreme Court simply concluded: “The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is affirmed.” Perhaps even more surprising, the Supreme Court seems to have objectively reached the correct conclusion.

News, Notes and Announcements

In this edition of News, Notes & Announcements, the USPTO announces it has signed an agreement with the Russian Patent Office to act as an International Searching Authority; the USPTO announces expansion of the Patent Prosecution Highway; PLI’s Patent Litigation 2010 starts next week and will travel across the US with stops in Virigina, Atlanta, Chicago and New York; BIO is hosting a Technology Transfer Symposium next week in San Francisco; Howard University will hold an IP Empowerment Summit on November 5, 2010, aimed at trying to help indigent inventors — USPTO Director David Kappos will participate; and BlackWeb Technologies sues two computer giants — IBM and HP — on patents covering methods for transmitting information between a remote network and a local computer.

In Search of Technology Transfer Best Practices: A Conversation with UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi

Katehi also has some interesting suggestions regarding what the Patent Office could do to help Universities, both in speeding up the patent process and in keeping costs lower. I learned a lot from speaking with Katehi, which supplemented my knowledge based on my experiences at Syracuse University. What I am continually piecing together suggests that there is no great surprise why most Universities do not do a better job with respect to technology transfer. There are things that are clearly considered best practices in the private sector that seem to elude Universities for the most part. The University of California system seems to be out in front and trying to bring the best practices of the private sector into Universities. It is no wonder they do a better job than most with technology transfer.