Title: Government policy and university technology transfer practices in the UK

Authors: Mark Van Hoorebeek

Addresses: Department of Law, Derby University, Keddleston Road, DE22 1GB, UK

Abstract: This paper looks at how governmental policy fits into the university technology transfer equation, a topic that has received scant attention in the UK when compared to the USA. This paper provides a history of the UK government|s technology transfer policies and subsequently analyses how effective these policies have been. It is concluded that: first, although the UK did not follow the legislative lead of the US, UK universities enjoy weak but beneficial Bayh-Dole type effects from the governmentally influenced polycentric development of university technology transfer. Secondly, university technology transfer and the patenting of academic innovation is a concept not yet fully embraced by the UK higher education sector. Thirdly, although the reports raised the profile and provide increased money for technology transfer, it is suggested that legislative clarity in the interpretation of the experimental use defence contained within the Community Patent Convention (CPC) should be used to skew patent law in favour of the university and ensure the litigious line of Madey v. Duke University (2003) is not followed in the UK or within the European Community. Finally, the RAE is presented as an opportunity to encourage further Bayh-Dole type effects within the UK university sector.

Keywords: Bayh-Dole type effects; Dearing; Madey v. Duke University; intellectual property; Lambert; UK university technology transfer; government policy; academic innovation; patents; higher education; Community Patent Convention; RAE; research assessment exercise.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2005.006701

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2005 Vol.4 No.4, pp.500 - 517

Published online: 01 Apr 2005 *

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