Commercialization of Academic Research

No doubt, there are abuses in commercialization of research at universities.1 I know of some, at universities and in industry. In two of these cases, academic researchers knew that the invention was stolen from them (in one instance by a small company, in another by a researcher in a different university), but they declined to take any action. Abuses may call for some improvements in the law or in procedures, but not for abandoning the system of protecting intellectual property.

I spent several interesting years at a medical diagnostics company (Technicon, since absorbed into Bayer), seeking out, funding, and licensing research at universities. Our objective, which was never hidden, was to use the results to expand our product line and markets. To do that required development and marketing investments much larger than the costs of the research, and we needed patents to justify the investments....

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