Bayh-Dole Technology Transfer Act – Universities Love It, But It Needs To Change

In the late 1970s, universities convinced lawmakers that if they could monetize discoveries made with taxpayer funding, they would need less taxpayer funding and better help the private sector.

Congress agreed and in 1980, the Bayh-Dole Technology Transfer Act was passed. The law made it much easier for research findings made by academics to be patented and commercialized, or licensed by companies.

In a new commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine, Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine, looks at the fluke-ridden history of the Bayh-Dole Act and suggests it is time to re-examine and revise the law.

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