Tuesday, September 24, 2013

          Professor Robin Feldman on the Struggle of Universities to Make Patents Pay Off

          Feldman talks to Nature in this September 24, 2013 story on the trend of universities selling their unused patents to aggregators or "patent trolls."
          United States patent number 7,023,435 almost didn’t happen. The application, which covered a way of imaging a surface, was rejected four times by the US Patent and Trademark Office. But the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, which filed the patent, fought back — and prevailed in 2005.

          Robin FeldmanCaltech’s faith in the hard-won patent was not matched by industry: three years later, no one had licensed the rights to the invention. So in 2008, Caltech exclusively licensed it, along with 50 other patents, to a subsidiary of Intellectual Ventures, a company that has stockpiled 40,000 patents from which it collects US$3 billion in licensing income. The firm sometimes uses its patents to sue other companies for infringement, yet it rarely develops the inventions described by its intellectual property.

          Such patent-assertion entities, sometimes called aggregators, monetizers or ‘patent trolls’, are questionable homes for university inventions. But in the push to get academic research out of the ivory tower — and to make money — university technology-transfer offices are becoming less choosy about their partners.

          “As universities struggle to find revenue sources, one might worry that the monetization industry will be very tempting,” says Robin Feldman, director of the Institute for Innovation Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. There are already signs that this is happening, she adds. Last year, she published evidence that 45 universities around the world licensed or sold patents to Intellectual Ventures shell companies (T. Ewing and R. Feldman Stanford Technol. Law Rev. 1; 2012).

          Read the full story from Nature here.

          Go to News Archive

          Share this Story

          Share via Facebook
          Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

          Other Recent Stories/ RSS

          Wednesday, April 25, 2018

          3 New Reasons Why UC Hastings LL.M. Program Continues to Excel

          From a Startup Legal Garage track to welcoming a Global Programs Advisor see the latest from UC Hastings College of the Law's LL.M. program
          Friday, April 20, 2018

          UC Hastings Demonstration Gardens Continues Its Legacy at McCoppin Hub and Throughout the Community

          As the Demonstration Gardens makes room for a new LEED Platinum academic building at 333 Golden Gate Avenue, it remains a part of the UC Hastings community and fortifies the tradition of sustainability for the Long Range Campus Plan.
          Friday, April 20, 2018

          UC Hastings Trial Team Wins National Championship

          3Ls Pablo Wudka-Robles, Maryam Ahmad, Jon Davidi, and 2L Ellie Barczak outperformed the other regional winners to emerge victorious at the AAJ National Student Trial Advocacy Competition in Raleigh, North Carolina.
          Thursday, April 19, 2018

          Matt Edling '07 Is Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change

          A groundbreaking ruling in the lawsuits he filed on behalf of California cities and counties may allow climate liability cases to be heard in state courts.
          Thursday, April 19, 2018

          Shadowy World of Drug Pricing—An Inside Look

          New research by University of California Hastings Law Professor Robin Feldman shines light on the highly secretive world of drug prices, including hidden payments, rebates, and inducements that drive the system toward higher-priced drugs.
          Go to News Archive