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Academic patents and materials transfer agreements: substitutes or complements?

Author

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  • David Mowery

    ()

  • Arvids Ziedonis

    ()

Abstract

U.S. universities and academic medical centers long have been important performers of research in the life sciences, but their role as a source of patented intellectual property in this field has changed significantly in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The expanded presence of formal intellectual property rights within the academic biomedical research enterprise has occasioned numerous expressions of concern from scholars, policymakers, and participants. One widely expressed fear involves the effects of patenting on the conduct of the scientific research enterprise. There is also considerable concern over the possible role of Materials Transfer Agreements (MTAs) in raising research “transaction costs”. On the other hand, others suggest that the contractual structure provided by MTAs may reduce transaction costs and facilitate exchange. This paper undertakes a preliminary analysis of the role of MTAs in the biomedical research enterprise at the University of Michigan, a significant patenter and licensor of biomedical intellectual property. We examine the relationship among invention disclosures, patenting, licensing, and the presence or absence of an MTA. Although data limitations make any conclusions tentative, our analysis suggests that the increased assertion of property rights by universities through MTAs does not appear to impede the commercialization of university research through patenting and licensing. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • David Mowery & Arvids Ziedonis, 2007. "Academic patents and materials transfer agreements: substitutes or complements?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 157-172, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:32:y:2007:i:3:p:157-172
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-006-9011-1
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10961-006-9011-1
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bozeman, Barry & Rimes, Heather & Youtie, Jan, 2015. "The evolving state-of-the-art in technology transfer research: Revisiting the contingent effectiveness model," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 34-49.
    2. Baldini, Nicola, 2009. "Implementing Bayh-Dole-like laws: Faculty problems and their impact on university patenting activity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1217-1224, October.
    3. Kenney, Martin & Patton, Donald, 2009. "Reconsidering the Bayh-Dole Act and the Current University Invention Ownership Model," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1407-1422, November.
    4. Welch, Eric W. & Shin, Eunjung & Long, Jennifer, 2013. "Potential effects of the Nagoya Protocol on the exchange of non-plant genetic resources for scientific research: Actors, paths, and consequences," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 136-147.
    5. Jeffrey L. Furman & Scott Stern, 2011. "Climbing atop the Shoulders of Giants: The Impact of Institutions on Cumulative Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1933-1963, August.
    6. Walsh, John P. & Cohen, Wesley M. & Cho, Charlene, 2007. "Where excludability matters: Material versus intellectual property in academic biomedical research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1184-1203, October.
    7. Grimaldi, Rosa & Kenney, Martin & Siegel, Donald S. & Wright, Mike, 2011. "30 years after Bayh-Dole: Reassessing academic entrepreneurship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1045-1057, October.
    8. Fehder, Daniel C. & Murray, Fiona & Stern, Scott, 2014. "Intellectual property rights and the evolution of scientific journals as knowledge platforms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 83-94.
    9. David Mowery, 2011. "Nanotechnology and the US national innovation system: continuity and change," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 36(6), pages 697-711, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Materials transfer agreements; University technology transfer; I32; O32; O34;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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