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22 June 2017Americas

BIO 2017: Licensing of academic patents gave $1.3tn to US output

Academic patents and their subsequent licensing contributed up to $1.3 trillion to US industry gross output between 1996 and 2015, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has found.

Gross output of an industry is the market value of the goods and services produced by it.

Released at the 2017 BIO International Convention on Tuesday, June 20, the report measured the economic contribution of academic inventions throughout a 20-year period.

Called “The economic contribution of university/nonprofit inventions in the United States: 1996-2015”, it is the result of an independent study commissioned by BIO and the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO, said: “Thanks to the enduring effectiveness of the Bayh-Dole Act, American research universities, along with industry partners, are turning federally-funded basic research into new and valuable products that save and improve lives.”

The Bayh-Dole Act deals with IP arising from federal government-funded research.

The study is based on data gathered by AUTM in its annual licensing activity survey, and the most recent (2015) survey reported that 15,953 new US patent applications were filed by research institutions, an increase of nearly 15%.

Additionally, it reported that in fiscal year 2015, 6,680 US patents were issued to research institutions, up 5% on the previous year.

Mary Albertson, AUTM president, added: “Some of today’s most important science—from life-saving medicines to game-changing technologies—arose from research at universities.”

Rocket fuel, insulin, pacemakers and Google are just a few inventions “that have made the world a better place”, she added.

She explained that now, more than ever, it’s critical that “we protect and strengthen the policies that afford us strong patent rights to ensure we all have access to the next generation of innovations”.

The report is available  here.

The 2017 BIO International Convention is taking place in San Diego from June 19 to 22.

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