Promoting 'Academic Entrepreneurship' in Europe and the United States: Creating an Intellectual Property Regime to Facilitate the Efficient Transfer of Knowledge from the Lab to the Patient
66 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2015 Last revised: 17 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 12, 2015
In 2014, the European Commission announced the launch of a study of knowledge transfer by public research organizations and other institutes of higher learning “to determine which additional measures might be needed to ensure an optimal flow of knowledge between the public research organisations and business thereby contributing to the development of the knowledge based economy.” As the European Commission has recognized, the EU needs to take action to “unlock the potential of IPRs [intellectual property rights] that lie dormant in universities, research institutes and companies.” This article builds on our earlier work on structuring efficient pharmaceutical public-private partnerships (PPPPs) but focuses on the regulatory infrastructure necessary to support the efficient commercialization of publicly funded university medical research in both the European Union and the United States. Our comparative analysis of the EU and U.S. approaches to translational medicine shows that there are lessons to be shared. The EU can apply the experiences from the U.S. Bayh-Dole Act and PPPPs in the United States, and the United States can emulate aspects of the open innovation aspects of the European Innovative Medicines Initiative and the tighter patenting standards imposed by the European Patent Office. Thus, a secondary purpose of this article is to suggest amendments to the U.S. laws governing the patenting and licensing of government-funded technology to prevent undue burdens on the sharing of certain upstream medical discoveries and research tools.
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