Ethics Tech Transfer

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Hailey Brown Ethics: Tech Transfer Prior to the Bayh Dole act in 1980, the federal government was considered the owner of the patents produced by federally funded research. The Bayh Dole Act allows universities, research institutions and other non profit organizations to claim ownership of the patent regardless federal funding. Before Bayh Dole, the federal government held 28,000 patents but only a very small percentage of those were commercialized. In the years following the act many universities took advantage of this new opportunity for intellectual property ownership and commercialization. Universities updated policies to mandate disclosure of all inventions on campus and created offices of tech transfer. Tech transfer is defined …show more content…

The process from research to market usually first involves filing a patent, assisted by the tech transfer office. Once a patent has been acquired it can be licensed to larger companies with the resources to commercialize the product. Because of the Bayh Dole Act, universities can now earn revenue from patents filed by their researchers. This has incentivized universities to participate in tech transfer and constantly be on the lookout for likely successful applications of research. This is the reason all inventions must be disclosed to the university, so they can determine its possible revenue potential. This can be beneficial for multiple reasons. One, the inventor may not have the initial capitol or experience for filing a patent. The tech transfer office is comprised of professionals of IP, and the university covers the cost of filing the patent, which can cost over $25,000 and take years to obtain. Another advantage of tech transfer offices is they may recognize a role of this product in the market the inventor may not have originally foreseen. In this way the inventors (researchers) benefit from tech transfer but universities also benefit from possible revenue created when a product is successfully brought to market. For example, Northwestern University leads the nation in revenue from …show more content…


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