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You Can’t Push a Rope or Legislate Innovation, So What Has Bayh-Dole Done For Me Lately?

Daniel I. Jamison IV

As a practitioner of intellectual property based business development, I am a firm believer that “amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics.” I recently attended the LES Spring Meeting in Boston (“IP for Entrepreneurs and Universities, Commercializing Early Stage Technologies”) where one of the plenary speakers opined that patents just aren’t that important to certain fields of early stage technology development. Intrigued by this seemingly counterintuitive observation, I began to hear the same or similar statements from presenters and audience participants, and during the networking events. As I researched this paper, I began to find evidence of this same observation throughout the macroenvironment in which we, as licensing professionals, perform or contribute our services. If patents are not important to the development of early stage technology, why have we focused our attention on increasing the number of patents filed on early stage technologies and why do we credit this increase in patenting with the growth of the economy since the Bayh-Dole act became law in 1980? We find our profession at the confluence of many policies, goals, objectives and schools of thought that have their roots as far back as the beginning of the United States of America, and as recent as the latest judicial interpretation of our work. We are influenced by history, legislation, the regulatory environment and public policy, behavioral psychology, even the taxonomy and semantic interpretation of the language used in our field. We often face a multiplicity of stakeholders in our engagements, each of which has a different goal or objective, and each of which participates in and responds to our interaction using the same lens, but a different perspective and focal length. I would respectfully suggest that in order to be successful in our future endeavors, we must begin with the end in mind, and then proceed with the beginning in mind. Where are we, what do we have, and where do we need to get it to. Logistics

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