The Bayh-Dole Act Revisited: The Impact of Intellectual Property Rights on Commercialization of University Research
42 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2019
Date Written: May 22, 2019
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)’s recent ROI Initiative for Unleashing American Innovation has similar goals and assumptions to its predecessor, the Bayh-Dole Act from 40 years ago. Thus, it is worth examining the record of the BDA while the ROI Initiative is still being fleshed out. While research has examined the impact of the BDA using measures collected at universities, universities cannot commercialize innovations, only firms can. Accordingly, we examine the downstream impact of the BDA on commercialization of university research by firms.
Using the full set of US public firms who patent and conduct R&D over the period 1976 to 1997, we found no evidence university research protected by IP rights (patents) had higher commercialization relative to university research in the public domain (publications). Indeed, if anything, university research in the public domain appears to have slightly greater commercialization.
Keywords: R&D, patents, publications, university research, Bayh-Dole Act, commercialization, innovation
JEL Classification: H59, K39,O34, O38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation