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Foundation Says Bayh-Dole Act Lets Universities Hold Professors’ Inventions Hostage

Two leaders of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which for years has made no secret of its low regard for the abilities of university technology-transfer offices, is now calling for a change in rules for the 30-year-old federal Bayh-Dole Act, to give professors the right to choose their own agents to handle the licensing of their inventions. The idea, which would change current practice (universities, which own the rights to academic inventions, typically hold that responsibility), has gotten a boost from the Harvard Business Review, which ranks it as one of its 10 Breakthrough Ideas for 2010.

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