Rectifying the Missing Costs of University Patent Practices: Addressing. Bayh-Dole Criticisms Through Faculty Involvement


As an instrument of transferring technological discoveries from the university realm to the consuming public, the Patent and Trademark Law Amendment Act of 1980, commonly called the Bayh-Dole Act after its primary legislative supporters, appears to have achieved tremendous success, measured by such rubrics as number of patents sought and issued and the number of products successfully introduced to the market. Yet the central premise of Bayh-Dole - that making available to the public those products that arise out of scientific research achieves the greatest public benefit - overlooks other potential public interests. By creating a series of particular incentives, the Bayh-Dole Act may be stymieing certain kinds of basic research, blocking the flow of information in fields where open access is critical, and forcing non-commercial but important aspects of university patenting decisions out of the equation.

This Note explores how the structure of the Bayh-Dole Act may be causing these negative effects and suggests a way to correct them. Part II frame these problems as a reflection of a shift away from traditional university roles with respect to the progress of science, the purveyance of higher education, and social responsibility. Furthermore, it argues that the various Bayh-Dole criticisms considered can be understood as problems of benefits overlooked by university technology transfer offices - that is, by heavily favoring exclusive licensing agreements, TTOs often overlook the "missing" scientific, educational, and social costs of restricting access to an invention. Part III discusses from where a possible solution to these problems might come, and develops the suggestion that faculty involvement in the technology transfer decision-making process would restore the proper balance between the desire to maximize licensing revenue and traditional university values. The final section, Part IV, comments on the details of faculty involvement in the patenting and licensing decision-making processes to best improve the Bayh-Dole scheme.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Dovid Kanarfogel, HUD Office of Healthcare Programs | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


HUD Office of Healthcare Programs on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.