to build a broad enough portfolio to be useful. We have some examples of instant successes, but mostly it has to be built up slowly. There is a lot more work in developing something in the biomedical area, but also there is a much bigger profit if one gets all the way to a patent. With software, once the code is written and professionalized, it's all ready to go.
David Schetter, University of California, Irvine: Dr. Mowery, is it not the case that, prior to the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980, the universities were not allowed to own the results of federally funded research, and that a primary impetus of Bayh-Dole was to create an incentive for universities to commercialize federally funded research? Second, if that is the basis of Bayh-Dole, do you have any data to determine whether or not it has achieved its goal?
David Mowery: Universities were, in fact, able to obtain patents on and license the results of federally funded research before Bayh-Dole under the terms of what were known as institutional patent agreements, which were negotiated by individual universities with individual federal funders of research. In fact, one of the pressures building up in the system before Bayh-Dole, notably in the University of California, was from what was then Health, Education and Welfare, overseer of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to prevent the universities from negotiating exclusive licenses for the results of NIH funded research. So universities were already in the licensing game selectively, although not nearly as many and under much more complicated and perhaps less stable rules than what came about in 1980. There can be little doubt that Bayh-Dole has brought more universities into technology transfer and licensing, especially when you look at the number of universities that have established offices and the amount of patenting that has been conducted. Do we know that patenting of university-developed technology resulted in either a more rapid or a successful transition to commercialization? This is a much more difficult question to answer. And it is a question that will almost certainly vary among universities, among technologies, and a host of other things. It' s very difficult to measure because it is an experiment without a well-developed control group.
Christopher Hill: Another impetus for Bayh-Dole was the Department of Energy (DOE) Act of 1977, which had an explicit provision that was exactly contrary to Bayh-Dole that prohibited ownership of patents by any contractor or grantee. And because DOE was then so important, it had undercut the system you are talking about in a serious way.
Cheryl Fragiadakis, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: One big contrast between the U.S. system and its history and what we just heard about what' s happening at Imperial College in the United Kingdom is the rather xenophobic approach that the U.S. government seems to overlay on research collaborations and licensing versus the very forthright desirability of multinational interactions in Europe. I see this as a limit to what is happening in both national laboratories and to some campuses that actually go by the law in the United States. Is the contrast as stark to you? Do you have any forecasts of what should be done or might happen in the future on this?
Christopher Hill: I did not hear anything in Professor Wakeham' s description of Imperial College that we do not do now at George Mason, a public university. The difference is that in Professor Wakeham' s presentation, "multinational corporation" was a euphemism for an American company. But we would have no problem doing a strategic alliance with an overseas corporation at this point. If we wanted to accept federal government money as part of the package, then we would have to fulfill some of the requirements in U.S. law written by Patrick Windham to deal with the xenophobic impulse.