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Publication date: 11 August 2005

Brett M. Frischmann

Universities face incredibly difficult, complex decisions concerning the degree to which they participate in the process of commercializing research. The U.S. government…

Abstract

Universities face incredibly difficult, complex decisions concerning the degree to which they participate in the process of commercializing research. The U.S. government has made an explicit policy decision to allow funded entities to obtain patents and thereby has encouraged participation in the commercialization of federally funded research. The Bayh-Dole Act enables universities to participate in the commercialization process, but it does not obligate or constrain them to pursue any particular strategy with respect to federally funded research. Universities remain in the driver's seat and must decide carefully the extent to which they wish to participate in the commercialization process.The conventional view of the role of patents in the university research context is that patent-enabled exclusivity improves the supply-side functioning of markets for university research results as well as those markets further downstream for derivative commercial end-products. Both the reward and commercialization theories of patent law take patent-enabled exclusivity as the relevant means for fixing a supply-side problem – essentially, the undersupply of private investment in the production of patentable subject matter or in the development and commercialization of patentable subject matter that would occur in the absence of patent-enabled exclusivity.While the supply-side view of the role of patents in the university research context is important, a view from the demand side is needed to fully appreciate the role of patents in the university research context and to fully inform university decisions about the extent to which they wish to participate in the commercialization process. Introducing patents into the university research system, along with a host of other initiatives aimed at tightening the relationship between universities and industry, is also (if not primarily) about increasing connectivity between university science and technology research systems and the demands of industry for both university research outputs (research results and human capital) and upstream infrastructural capital necessary to produce such outputs.In this chapter, I explore how university science and technology research systems perform economically as infrastructural capital and explain how these systems generate social value. I explain how the availability of patents, coupled with decreased government funding, may lead to a slow and subtle shift in the allocation of infrastructure resources.

Details

University Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-359-4

Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2005

Gary D. Libecap

SESSION I: TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

Abstract

SESSION I: TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

Details

University Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-359-4

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2005

Abstract

Details

University Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-359-4

Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2005

Abstract

Details

University Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-359-4

Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2005

Katherine J. Strandburg

The debate about university technology transfer policy would benefit from increased attention to two parts of the technology transfer equation: the societal purpose of…

Abstract

The debate about university technology transfer policy would benefit from increased attention to two parts of the technology transfer equation: the societal purpose of basic scientific research and the characteristics of scientific researchers.11This Chapter was prepared for the Colloquium on University Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer hosted by the Karl Eller Center of the University of Arizona and sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. I am grateful to them for their support. I am also grateful to the participants in the Colloquium for helpful comments. Finally, I thank my research assistant, David Zelner, for assistance with this project. One purpose of curiosity-driven research is to provide a demand function that can serve as a proxy for the socially optimal (but unknowable) demand function for the unpredictable research that is necessary for long-term technological progress. Preserving the curiosity-driven research peer review “market” is thus important for that progress. This analysis highlights the importance of adequate funding for curiosity-driven research. A model of typical university scientists’ preferences can be used to assess how technology transfer policies may affect the social norms of the research community and the long-term viability of the curiosity-driven research endeavor. The analysis suggests that patenting will be an ineffective technology transfer mechanism unless researchers are precluded from using patenting to maintain control over follow-on research.

Details

University Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-359-4

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