Panelists:

  1. Jerome Kassirer, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine

  2. John Walsh, Professor of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology

  3. Melvin Bernstein, Vice President for Research, University of Maryland

  4. Rochelle Dreyfuss, Pauline Newman Professor of Law, New York University

  5. Sheldon Krimsky, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy & Planning, Tufts University

Discussion Questions:

  • Is there more than anecdotal evidence that the prospect of patenting and commercializing research discoveries has

    • Changed behavior regarding the disclosure of findings, presentation of papers, or informal conversation around research?

    • Changed the kinds of research projects undertaken (e.g., more applied, less basic)?

    • Led faculty to devote less time to teaching and research?

    • Changed the criteria for faculty promotion and tenure decisions?

  • To the extent such changes have occurred, has the quality of research suffered or benefited? Has there been a more rapid or frequent application of research results in the marketplace?

  • Has university patenting in particular fields, e.g., biomedical research, inhibited access to foundational discoveries or research tools and thus caused investigators to abandon certain lines of research?

  • How does the share of royalty revenue accruing to faculty inventors (vs. research labs, departments, general funds) affect university norms? Would reducing the share help reverse norm deterioration? What unintended effects might it have?

  • To the extent that norms of sharing results, data, materials, etc., have deteriorated, is that a function of commercial motives or a function of other pressures, such as greater academic competition, not necessarily associated with formal intellectual property (not only patents but also copyright and trade secrecy)?

  • Are national policies needed beyond the current ones (e.g., the informal NIH guidelines on data sharing, research tools, patenting and licensing of genomic conventions, etc.)? Should other federal research agencies adopt the NIH approach?

  • With further evidence that IP protection of knowledge that is typically part of public domain ("Anticommons") can strain knowledge flow in academia, effectively taxing progress, are TTOs rethinking their IP strategy?

12:00 PM to 12:30 PM

Session 2: Open Discussion



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