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Proofs and Prototypes for Sale: The Licensing of University Inventions

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  • Marie Thursby
  • Richard Jensen

Abstract

Proponents of the Bayh-Dole Act argue that industrial use of federally funded research would be reduced without university patent licensing. Our survey of U.S. universities supports this view, emphasizing the embryonic state of most technologies licensed and the need for inventor cooperation in commercialization. Thus, for most university inventions, there is a moral-hazard problem with inventor effort. For such inventions, development does not occur unless the inventor's income is tied to the licensee's output by payments such as royalties or equity. Sponsored research from the licensee cannot by itself solve this problem.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:91:y:2001:i:1:p:240-259
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.91.1.240
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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