Patenting Public-Funded Research for Technology Transfer

ICRIER Working Paper No. 244

Patenting Public-Funded Research for Technology Transfer: A Conceptual-Empirical Synthesis of US Evidence and Lessons for India

January 2010


Amit Shovon Ray

Sabyasachi Saha

The question of protecting intellectual property rights by academic inventors was never seriously contemplated until the introduction of the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980 in the US. The Act allowed universities to retain patent rights over inventions arising out of federally-funded research and to license those patents exclusively or non-exclusively at their discretion. This particular legislation was a response to the growing concern over the fact that federally funded inventions in the US were not reaching the market place. In this paper, we present a critical review of the US experience after the Bayh-Dole Act and argue that the evidence is far from being unambiguous. We discuss the debate surrounding the Act – the extent to which it was successful in achieving its objectives, the unintended consequences, if any, and more generally, the effectiveness of IPR as a vehicle of technology transfer from universities. We also discuss the limited evidence on Bayh-Dole type legislations introduced in other countries. A new legislation, along the lines of the US Bayh-Dole Act – The Protection and Utilisation of Public Funded IP Bill, 2008 – is presently before the Indian parliament. The paper presents an Indian perspective against the backdrop of the US experience in an attempt to draw concrete lessons for India.

Abstract File | Full Text in PDF


STEM Annual Event in IP and Tech Transfer

Keenly awaited, must-attend technology transfer event in India, the STEM Annual Event in IP and Tech Transfer will be held at Hotel Taj Banjara in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India from August 19-22, 2009. Please log on to for more details on the program, the themes, and how to register.

Dr Arundeep Pradhan, President of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) will be in attendance, alongwith a host of other IP and Technology Transfer experts from across the world.

About the Event:

STEM Professional Development Program for Technology Managers (PDP-TM), August 19-21, 2009

The STEM Professional Development Program for Technology Managers (PDP-TM) will be held from August 19-21, 2009, and is designed to equip the participants with the required knowledge and skills to:

  • Identify, Manage, and Capture value from intellectual property
  • Develop an understanding of protecting intellectual property.
  • Explore how marketing, finance and technology units can better integrate IP in their respective business strategies.
  • Examine how to extract maximum value from technology licensing.
  • Explore how strategic alliances can leverage competitive advantage.

STEM Annual Summit, August 22, 2009

The STEM Annual Summit will be held on August 22, 2009 and is designed as a platform for senior technology transfer and IP  personnel  to meet, share insights, discuss and explore ways to maximize their revenue through IP and technology transfer, and network with one another to creatively and effectively improve their technology management culture.

Please get in touch with Prabhu Ram at, in case you have questions or wish to seek clarifications.