Managing University Intellectual Property in the Public Interest
National Research Council, Policy and Global Affairs, Committee on Science, Technology, and Law, Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy, Committee on Management of University Intellectual Property: Lessons from a Generation of Experience, Research, and Dialogue
National Academies Press, Feb 28, 2011 - Science - 118 pages
Thirty years ago federal policy underwent a major change through the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, which fostered greater uniformity in the way research agencies treat inventions arising from the work they sponsor. Before the Act, if government agencies funded university research, the funding agency retained ownership of the knowledge and technologies that resulted. However, very little federally funded research was actually commercialized. As a result of the Act's passage, patenting and licensing activity from such research has accelerated.
Although the system created by the Act has remained stable, it has generated debate about whether it might impede other forms of knowledge transfer. Concerns have also arisen that universities might prioritize commercialization at the expense of their traditional mission to pursue fundamental knowledge--for example, by steering research away from curiosity-driven topics toward applications that could yield financial returns.