Bayh‐Dole

Abstract

Bayh‐Dole is shorthand for the public policy in the United States that allows universities to take title to patents on discoveries made from state‐funded research. The Bayh‐Dole Act, enacted by the US Congress in 1980, has been emulated in many countries around the world for its putative benefits on national rates of innovation and has exerted a profound influence on university patenting practices in the United States and abroad. Bayh‐Dole has contributed to the sharp increase in university patenting activity. Its impact on the innovation system as a whole is harder to measure and has been the subject of scholarly and political controversy. While proponents of this policy argue that it has injected American innovation with new dynamism, other analysts have cast doubt on the economic benefits of Bayh‐Dole. Furthermore, there are concerns that the Act negatively effects academic cooperation and runs against the public mission of universities.

Key Concepts

  • Technology transfer is the dynamic exchange of knowledge among universities, industry and governmental agencies.
  • Bayh‐Dole regulates intellectual property aspects of university technology transfer.
  • The Bayh‐Dole policy of facilitating university ownership of state‐funded discoveries has been emulated in many countries, which has helped increase the rates of university patenting in the United States and abroad.
  • Increased rates of patenting per se are not indicators of increased rates of new product development and new economic activity.
  • The actual effects of Bayh‐Dole on the innovation system are hard to measure and the subject of scholarly and political controversy within the United States and elsewhere.
  • Patenting and licensing constitute just one of many modes of university technology transfer, which also occurs inter alia through student training, collaborative research agreements, dissemination of new knowledge through publication and public talks.
  • Bayh‐Dole has become a lightning rod for debates about the commercialisation of research and higher education reform.

Keywords: Bayh‐Dole Act; patents; intellectual property; technology transfer; university; innovation

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Winickoff DE (2013) Private assets, public mission: the politics of technology transfer and the new American university. Jurimetrics 54 (1): 1–42 http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2316996.

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Further Reading

Berman EP (2012) Creating the Market University: How Academic Science Became an Economic Engine. Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Mowery DC, Nelson RR, Sampat BN and Ziedonis A (2004) Ivory Tower and Industrial Innovation: University‐industry Technology Transfer Before and After the Bayh‐Dole Act in the United States. Redwood City, CA: Stanford University Press.

Mirowski P (2011) Science‐Mart: Privatizing American Science. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

National Research Council (2010) Managing University Intellectual Property in the Public Interest. http://www.nap.edu/catalog/13001/managing‐university‐intellectual‐property‐in‐the‐public‐interest. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

Slaughter S and Rhoades G (2009) Academic Capitalism and the New Economy: Markets, State, and Higher Education. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

So AD, Sampat BN, Rai AK, et al. (2008) Is Bayh‐Dole good for developing countries? lessons from the US experience. PLoS Biology 6 (10): e262. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060262.

Winickoff DE (2013) Private assets, public mission: the politics of technology transfer and the new American university. Jurimetrics 54 (1): 1–42. http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2316996.

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How to Cite close
Winickoff, David E, and Valdivia, Walter D(Jun 2015) Bayh‐Dole. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0025088]