Keywords: academic technology transfer, Bayh-Dole Act, patenting practices, licensing practices, patents, social benefit, universities, health
Health related academic technology transfer: rethinking patenting and licensing practices
In this article, I argue that some academic technology transfer professionals are rethinking their mission, their models of success, and their public message. In particular, they are beginning to orientate their activities to take account more explicitly of the missions of academic institutions, the stated purposes of publicly funded research, and the goal of legislation governing academic patenting and licensing. Focusing on health-related technology transfer activities, which have attracted some of the strongest criticism, I review existing, emerging, and suggested practices aimed not at maximising profit but at maximising the social benefit of academic research, some of which employ sophisticated licensing of patented academic inventions and discoveries. These practices, I will argue, should be considered and, where appropriate, employed by academic technology transfer offices, both because they aim to secure a moral good and because they will help academic technology transfer offices achieve a kind of success that closely mirrors the missions of their institutions.