Opinions and Editorials

Jun. 20, 2024

Forbes: The 2024 Patent Landscape And A Roadmap For Future Prosperity by Alden Abbott

In two recent articles, I’ve emphasized the danger posed to America’s patent-driven world leadership in tech and innovation, stemming from U.S. Supreme Court decisions and foreign developments. Today, after examining very recent U.S. executive branch actions that undermine patents, I will suggest specific reforms to restore the vibrancy of the American patent system.

Proposed New Bayh-Dole Act Interpretation Would Sharply Reduce Innovation From Federal and University Labs

As I recently explained, the Bayh-Dole Act was passed on a bipartisan basis in 1980 to respond to the rampant waste of federally funded R&D dollars in national labs and large research universities. The Act authorized the issuance and licensing of patents on inventions developed in those labs.

Prior to the law’s passage, fewer than 5 percent of federally funded inventions were ever licensed. Subsequently, a large majority of patentable inventions were licensed, yielding commercial activity that created millions of high-paying jobs, thousands of new startups, and more than $1 trillion in economic output, benefiting the full range of high-tech industries.

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