The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 and University Industry Technology Transer: A Model for Other OECD Governments?
Posted: 9 Nov 2009
Date Written: 2005
The efforts of a number of OECD governments to emulate the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, which permitted United States institutions receiving government research funds to patent their inventions, are critiqued.This critique is based on a review of recent research on the characteristics of the university-industry knowledge exchange and technology transfer.Following this review, the effects of the Bayh-Dole Act on patenting are discussed. Although many observers have argued that Bayh-Dole facilitated university-industry technology transfer, the effects of the measure are not wholly positive: increased university patenting could hinder downstream research and product development.It could also encourage academic researchers to pursue "open science," which could in turn lead to publication delays and withholding of data and materials.Even though the supposedly catalytic effects of the Bayh-Dole Act are perhaps overrated, OECD countries such as Denmark, Canada, Germany, Sweden, and Japan have adopted policies similar to Bayh-Dole; ironically, these policies often differ from one another and from Bayh-Dole itself.OECD countries wishing to generate higher levels of university-industry interaction would do well to stop attempting to emulate Bayh-Dole and to focus on reforms that support inter-institutional competition, as well as the external contributors to business creation and technology commercialization.(SAA)
Keywords: OECD countries, R&D, Technology transfer, University-industry relations, Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, Licensing strategies, Patent law, Patents
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