Fall 2018

Universities: The Fallen Angels of Bayh-Dole?

Rebecca S. Eisenberg and Robert Cook-Deegan
The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 allowed nonprofits and small businesses to own patents on inventions resulting from federally funded research. Although universities helped get the Act through Congress, the primary goal was not to benefit universities but to promote the commercial development and utilization of federally funded inventions. But universities seem to have lost sight of this distinction. Rebecca S. Eisenberg and Robert Cook-Deegan argue that universities – acting as patent seekers, patent enforcers, and patent policy stakeholders – often work against the commercialization goals of the Bayh-Dole Act in pursuit of increased revenue.
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