A Tweak or Two

A researcher argues that it is time to recalibrate the Bayh-Dole Act.

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"Basic discoveries" aren't

"Basic discoveries" aren't patentable subject matter under patent law. If "basic discoveries" are being patented (arguably occuring), they should be overturned through the courts, for example the Prometheus and Mayo cases. His statement--"In Myriad, the Supreme Court has taken on one such question: Who should benefit from discoveries pertaining to nature or the human body?"--shows he doesn't understand the court's mission: which was only to determine if isolated DNA is patenable subject matter.

Polemics against "patents and profits" that never arrive at intelligent conclusions don't allow for helpful commentary about the merits of Bayh-Dole. Accuratley assigning and rewarding innovation is clearly vital to our society and and has helped generate the kind of weatlth that pays MD/PhDs like himself such large salaries.

Bayh-Dole has certainly

Bayh-Dole has certainly produced a mixed bag of results. University revenues have been minimal, concentrated in a few hands and largely realized from the pharmaceutical industry. Patent-directed research has proven akin to "teaching to the exam," with truly basic research seeing a relative decline (indeed the reliability of research results has become a thorny issue). It may be that a Bayh-Dole approach to such programs as SBIR can prove beneficial, but it's not at all clear that Bayh/Dole has been good for science, universities or the economy.