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The Disclosure and Licensing of University Inventions

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  • Richard A. Jensen
  • Jerry G. Thursby
  • Marie C. Thursby

Abstract

We examine the interplay of the three major university actors in technology transfer from universities to industry: the faculty, the technology transfer office (TTO), and the central administration. We model the faculty as an agent of the administration, and the TTO as an agent of both the faculty and the administration. Empirical tests of the theory are based on evidence from our survey of 62 US research universities. We find that the TTOs reported licensing objectives are influenced by their views of faculty and administration, which supports the assumption that the TTO is a dual agent. The theory yields predictions for whether or not faculty disclose inventions and if so, at what stage, which in turn affects license contract terms. We also examine how the portion of inventions disclosed at different stages varies with faculty quality. Quality is found to be inversely related to the share of license income allotted to faculty.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9734.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Publication status: published as Jensen, Richard A., Jerry G. Thursby, and Marie C. Thursby. "Disclosure and Licensing of University Inventions: 'The Best We Can Do with the S**t We Get to Work With.'" International Journal of Industrial Organization 21, 9 (November 2003): 1271-1300.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9734

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  1. Marie Thursby & Richard Jensen, 2001. "Proofs and Prototypes for Sale: The Licensing of University Inventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 240-259, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Roberto ESPOSTI, 2003. "Complementarita' innovative e tragedia degli anticommons. Il caso delle agrobiotecnologie," Working Papers 198, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  2. Macho-Stadler Inés & Pérez-Castrillo David & Veugelers Reinhilde, 2005. "Licensing of University Inventions: The Role of a Technology Transfer Office," Working Papers 201022, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation.
  3. Thomas Hellmann, 2005. "The Role of Patents for Bridging the Science to Market Gap," NBER Working Papers 11460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Richard A. Jensen & Marie C. Thursby, 2004. "Patent Licensing and the Research University," NBER Working Papers 10758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jerry G. Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2003. "Are Faculty Critical? Their Role in University-Industry Licensing," NBER Working Papers 9991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Debackere, Koenraad & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2005. "The role of academic technology transfer organizations in improving industry science links," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 321-342, April.
  7. Hottenrott, Hanna & Thorwarth, Susanne, 2011. "Industry funding of university research and scientific productivity," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-105 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Hoppe, Heidrun C. & Ozdenoren, Emre, 2005. "Intermediation in Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4891, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Attila György, 2011. "Knowledge From Research As A Quasi-Public Good," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 2, pages 56-62, May.
  10. Celestine Chukumba & Richard Jensen, 2005. "University Invention, Entrepreneurship, and Start-Ups," NBER Working Papers 11475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Oliver Fabel & Dominique Demougin, 2004. "The Division of Ownership in New Ventures," Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor 04-03, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
  12. Larsen, Maria Theresa, 2011. "The implications of academic enterprise for public science: An overview of the empirical evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 6-19, February.
  13. Calderini, Mario & Franzoni, Chiara & Vezzulli, Andrea, 2007. "If star scientists do not patent: The effect of productivity, basicness and impact on the decision to patent in the academic world," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 303-319, April.

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