Tech transfer: risky business


Tech transfer: risky business


The prospect of getting help to develop an idea or invention via tech transfer is very attractive, but there are pitfalls, and potential partners should be thoroughly vetted and targets set. WIPR investigates.

It can be a risky decision. Transferring your hard-earned inventions or technology to another party should not be undertaken lightly, but more and more institutions are doing it.

In 1980 the US passed the Bayh-Dole Act, or the Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act, which helped to kick-start a spike in technology transfer activity. The act allowed academic and non-profit institutions to claim ownership of federally funded inventions for the first time.

In the years that followed, tech transfer activity increased, as reflected by the membership numbers for the US-based Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). In 1979, the year before the act was implemented, AUTM had 113 members, but by 1989 the number had grown to 800 and to more than 2,000 by 1999. 

Patent infringement, Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act, AUTM, tech transfer, licensing, R&D,