Posts Tagged: "university research"

Advice for the Trump Administration and New Congress: Protect Bayh-Dole and Restore the Patent System

Bayh-Dole is running on autopilot without Executive branch oversight and U.S. patents are no longer the world’s gold standard. Without a course correction, we could be headed back to the bad old days… Bayh-Dole has become a driver of the U.S. economy. Every day of the year universities form two new companies and two new products from their inventions are commercialized. University spin out companies tend to stay in state becoming significant contributors to the regional economy… Bayh-Dole is a recognized best practice. The Chinese have adopted it while strengthening their patent system to better compete with us.

Commercialization of University Research Threatened by Proposed State Legislation 

EFF’s Reclaim Invention Act, Draft Model Statute may seem an odd approach to folks in DC but when lined up with a state-level lobby of IP-uninformed and angry local businesses lobby, state legislators will be impressed. So notwithstanding EFF’s effectiveness on the Hill weakened by its issue multitasking, it will have stronger standing in state legislatures. Its research university troll-targeted sanctions proposal therefor must not be taken lightly. Beyond the law’s ironic fiscal resemblance to patent troll “do what I say or pay” troll conduct, the Model Law’s enactment will add even more uncertainty to private sector investment in early stage innovation. Worse, because of its open-man-hole patent nullification mechanism stationed at costly commercialization’s successful endpoint, pure licensing firms like Qualcomm, and research universities will be exposed to expanded freeloader accessibility as another nail of uncertainty is pounded into the coffin of patent exclusivity.

Make American Innovation Great Again

It’s a fundamental principal of economics that the secure ownership of personal property is essential for prosperity. Walk through any public park and see how seldomly people bother to pick up trash thrown so thoughtlessly about by a few. But if someone throws trash on your lawn, it will quickly be made clear that this nonsense better stop, including calling the police if necessary. But what happens when the police won’t protect the rights of homeowners? Neighborhoods deteriorate, crime flourishes and investors move their money to other markets. That’s what’s happening to patent owners as “effective infringement” becomes an accepted business practice. However, we’ve been down this road before and have a good roadmap of the way out.

Canada’s Promise Doctrine Should Be a Warning to America

A recent Canadian survey (CRA Survey) has conclusively attributed lowered levels of R&D investment in Canada’s innovation ecosystem to the country’s unique judicial “Promise Doctrine.” The Promise Doctrine is a controversial patent elimination dynamic, judicially imposed during patent enforcement proceedings, often after a patented product has achieved its developmental endpoint, having successfully completed its long and costly commercialization. By its unpredictable applicability, like an unseen open manhole, Canada’s promise doctrine can cancel the benefits of a long journey at its market-ready endpoint… As the Survey suggests, long-lasting damage to Canada’s innovation ecosystem may already have occurred, which is why the Survey bears so heavily on the U.S. patent system’s own endpoint “open manhole”, Inter partes review (IPR). However Canada deals with its promise doctrine woes, we too have much to learn from this Canadian Survey.

Winning the Drug Development Debate

We create two new companies around academic inventions every day of the year. The critical role such companies play in drug development is clear. The successful integration of public research institutions into the economy is based on the Bayh-Dole Act, which inserted the incentives of patent ownership into the government R&D system. Not a single new drug had been developed from NIH funded research under the patent destroying policies preceding Bayh-Dole. No one is going to spend billions of dollars and more than a decade of effort turning early stage inventions into new drugs or fund a life science startup company without strong patent protection. Yet the patent system and Bayh-Dole are precisely what the critics seek to undermine.

State Department, Universities Blast UN Attack on Patents

If the UN Secretary General and the members of his “High Level Panel on Access to Medicines” thought the State Department was bluffing when it warned against their attempt to make intellectual property the fall guy for the lack of health care in poor countries, they were rudely awakened Friday afternoon. Disdaining diplomatic niceties, less than two days after the UN report issued, State bluntly replied in a statement titled “U.S. Disappointed Over Fundamentally Flawed Report of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines.” Compounding the pain, the same day five prominent university associations issued a joint paper taking the report apart. Being directly and publicly rebuked in this manner is a new experience for the Secretary General and his minions– but one they richly deserve.

Research Universities Face Licensing Limitations Sought by Electronic Frontier Foundation

Another incursion into research university governance and operations is now underway. And this time all research universities are affected. Led by the DC Based Electronic Frontier Foundation, a leftist anti-patent activist coalition that has initiated a 50-state legislative campaign to shrink research university patent licensing rights at the state level. (See) The measure’s purported objective is to prevent publicly funded university research patents from being licensed to so-called “Patent Assertion Entities” (PAEs, also known by the pejorative term “patent trolls”). The draft legislation is imprecise, making it even more dangerous than first appears.

Property Rights Key to Bayh-Dole Act’s Success

The focus of the political advocates pushing march-in may be lower drug costs. But the long-term costs of ripping apart IP rights are far higher and more fundamental than advocates acknowledge. The long-term price of exercising these exceptional prerogatives could include creating a crisis in confidence over use of federally funded research discoveries, dried-up private investments where basic research has federally funded fingerprints, hesitation to commercialize university research, and a corresponding drop in start-ups, new products, economic development and technological advancements. March-in could effectively repeal Bayh-Dole.

When Government Tried March In Rights To Control Health Care Costs

As we await the decision from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the petition backed by Senator Bernie Sanders and others urging that the march in provision of the Bayh-Dole Act be used to control drug prices, it’s worthwhile to recall the time the agency followed similar advice….Note from the beginning the trigger for marching in was a failure to work towards commercialization and the word “reasonable” applied to royalty rates, not the cost of a product… To understand the original intent, recall that march in rights were designed to prevent companies from licensing federally supported inventions to suppress them. Otherwise, the government can march in. That’s how march in rights have worked since 1947.

NIH Pressured to Misuse Bayh-Dole to Control Drug Prices

Secretary Burwell and Director Collins are facing formidable pressure to reinterpret the Bayh-Dole Act for the compulsory licensing of costly drugs arising from federally supported research. And the pressure just increased another notch. On March 28, Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, Patrick Leahy, Sheldon Whitehouse and Amy Klobuchar joined the leaders of the House Democratic Task Force on Prescription Drug Pricing urging Burwell and Collins to hold a meeting “to allow the public to engage in a dialogue with the Department of Health and Human Services and NIH in order to better understand its position on the use of march-in rights to address excessive prices.” If NIH joins in pursuing the swamp gas illusion that Bayh-Dole was intended to regulate drug pricing, we’ll quickly learn that it’s a lot easier getting into this morass than getting back out.

University research leads to breakthroughs in 3D printed organs

In the middle of February, the scientific journal Nature Biotechnology published a paper from a team of researchers at Wake Forest University which reported a breakthrough in creating transplantable human organs with the use of an integrated tissue-organ printer. The Wake Forest breakthrough provides 3D printed tissues with a biodegradable material to serve as a temporary framework for cells as they take hold in a host body; the tissue material also enables oxygen and nutrients to flow into the printed organ more easily. Still, issues in tissue complexity for certain organs remain, although we are closer than ever to the world’s first 3D printed liver thanks in part to work performed by engineers at the University of California, San Diego.

Winning the Patent Policy Wars

We’re in the business of transforming early stage, publicly funded research into useful products. The odds against success are long as commercialization requires years of hard work, a lot of money and some luck. We’d like to think that this effort is universally appreciated. Many in this profession ignore the public policy debates swirling around, thinking that no one will believe our critics or that someone else will defeat them. That’s a serious mistake.

Tech Transfer 101: It’s A Better World with University Technology

AUTM collects quantitative data and facts about the benefits of university tech transfer, but the qualitative evidence is actually the most important. With the Better World Report, which just hit 500 stories, AUTM provides evidence that university tech transfer makes a better world. Just look at those stories in the Better World Report; they’re heartwarming. It is amazing that some of the critics tend to overlook or completely discount the very real stories of success. I don’t know what the critics are after— I guess the success of university tech transfer doesn’t fit the narrative that they wish to impose on everybody.

Exit Interview: A Conversation with Outgoing AUTM President Fred Reinhart

During Reinhart’s year as President much changed at AUTM. There was a concerted effort to transition to a a strategic board of directors that would result in more dynamic member engagement, AUTM hired a full-time Executive Director, the organization spent a great deal of time developing more effective relationships with industry, AUTM bolstered it’s relationships with key university organizations, and AUTM began more earnestly working on international initiatives. While more progress was made in some areas than in others, progress has been achieved across the board. All-in-all, Reinhart’s tenure at the helm of AUTM was quite successful and he has helped set the organization up for the challenges that lie ahead.

Bolder initiatives needed to take next steps in fight against cancer

February 4 is World Cancer Day… There has been steady progress made in the history of treating cancers of many types since the administration of former U.S President Richard Nixon, according to Dr. Boris Pasche, the Director of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. “In my opinion, government should embark on bold new initiatives in cancer treatment,” Pasche said. He did note that, while what President Obama says as a statesman doesn’t change the humbling reality that many cancers have so far stumped medical scientists. Nevertheless, increased investments into cancer research have dramatically impacted survival rates. Over the past decade, most cancers show a better outcome than they did ten years ago. “Bolder initiatives with disruptive approaches to cancer are in order if we want to make leaps forward more quickly,” Pasche said.