U.S. Patent Sales by Universities and Research Institutes

Forthcoming, Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (Jacob Rooksby, ed.)

30 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2019

See all articles by Brian J. Love

Brian J. Love

Santa Clara University School of Law

Erik Oliver

Richardson Oliver Law Group LLP

Michael Costa

Richardson Oliver Law Group

Date Written: January 15, 2019

Abstract

In this chapter, we explore the extent to which universities and other nonprofit research institutes currently participate in the secondary market for patents. We document 220 assignments, involving a total of 544 U.S. patent assets, that appear to represent arms-length patent sales by universities (or other nonprofit research institutes) during the period 2012-2017. We present data on the entities and assets involved in these transactions, as well as the publicly available circumstances underlying each sale. Among other findings, we observe that foreign universities are the most active market participants. Overall, U.S. universities and labs account for less than one quarter of sales, and elite U.S. research universities are almost entirely absent from the market. We also find that few academic U.S. patent sales bear the hallmarks of technology transfer. Just eleven percent of assets appear to have been purchased with commercialization in mind. Virtually all other purchases appear to have been either defensive acquisitions by operating technology companies or purchases by nonpracticing entities. Finally, we consider what conclusions policymakers and university administrators may draw from our data.

Keywords: technology transfer, university patents, patent market, patent sales, patent assignment, nonpracticing entity, NPE, sovereign patent fund

JEL Classification: O34, I23, L3

Suggested Citation

Love, Brian J. and Oliver, Erik and Costa, Michael, U.S. Patent Sales by Universities and Research Institutes (January 15, 2019). Forthcoming, Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (Jacob Rooksby, ed.) . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3316332 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3316332

Brian J. Love (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States

Erik Oliver

Richardson Oliver Law Group LLP ( email )

5150 El Camino Real, B-21
Los Altos, CA California 94022
United States
+1 (650) 967-6555 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.richardsonoliver.com

Michael Costa

Richardson Oliver Law Group ( email )

5150 W El Camino Real
Los Altos, CA California 94022
United States

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