Lou Berneman

Lou Berneman

Don’t kill the goose laying golden eggs

Spread the love

By Lou Berneman

For years, China has stolen hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American companies’ intellectual property — everything from patented software code and computer chips to prescription drug formulas and weapons systems.

Thankfully, the Biden administration is making a concerted effort to curtail this theft. Federal investigators now open a new counterintelligence case against Chinese actors every twelve hours on average.

But while administration officials fight China’s high-tech piracy with one hand, they’re threatening Americans’ intellectual property with the other hand. They are threatening to undermine a 42-year-old law that has enabled universities to effectively move research discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace. This academic-to-industry “tech transfer” process is a foundation of pharmaceutical and high-tech innovation — and upending it would kill the goose that has been laying golden eggs for four decades.

Lou Berneman

Lou Berneman

That law, commonly known as the Bayh-Dole Act, allows universities to patent discoveries made, in part, with federal research funds and license those patents to startups and established companies capable of turning the discoveries into real-world products.

Before Congress passed that transformative bipartisan legislation in 1980 — with the support of then-Senator Joe Biden — the federal government retained ownership of patents resulting from taxpayer-funded research. Not unexpectedly, it did a poor job of licensing those patents to the private sector. Of 28,000 patents held by the federal government before Bayh-Dole passed, fewer than 5% were licensed for development.

One study estimates that by putting universities in charge of this “technology transfer” process, Bayh-Dole spurred the creation of some 15,000 startup companies and brought nearly 6.5 million jobs to our economy — boosting economic output by $1.9 trillion overall.

Despite this overwhelming success, dozens of U.S. lawmakers now want to use a provision of the Bayh-Dole Act, its so-called “march-in” rights, to upend the incentive system the law created.

Their goal is to reduce the price of certain medicines that originated from discoveries in university labs. Their intentions may be admirable, but their methods are misguided.

They claim that if startup and established drug companies have licensed patents from universities that benefited from federal grants, the government forever retains the legal authority under Bayh-Dole to “march in” and revoke those licenses if officials decide the medicines that result are unreasonably expensive. The government could then re-license the patents to other drug companies that promise to sell the medicines more cheaply.

As Senators Birch Bayh and Bob Dole themselves attested in 2002, the Bayh-Dole Act doesn’t allow the government to “march-in” and relicense patents merely because officials don’t like the price of a commercially available product.

Giving government officials such sweeping authority would defeat the purpose of the law — which was to spur innovation by putting universities, rather than bureaucrats, in charge of the technology transfer process. Allowing the government to rescind patent licenses by marching in will curtail investments in startup and established companies. The chilling effect on high-tech R&D, public and private, would extend well beyond pharmaceuticals. It would undermine the United States as the global leader in academic-to-industry technology transfer and the development of new technologies.

The Biden administration is wise to combat IP theft by the Chinese and others. Now, the administration needs to stand up to its allies in Congress seeking to undermine American innovators that transform university research into real-world inventions.

Lou Berneman is founding partner emeritus of Osage University Partners. He served as managing director of UPenn CTT, and president of AUTM.

Local News

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

L-W Central tops Sandburg in regional title game

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Sandburg won 20 games for the first time in in six years, and entered the postseason seeking to add to its list of accomplishments by winning a regional championship on its home court. But Lincoln-Way Central made more plays in key situations and fought to a 55-47 double-overtime victory…

Chris Petrucelli is the new Red Stars coach. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Red Stars)

New Red Stars coach wants to bring ‘joy and positivity’

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Chicago Red Stars have found their new coach. The team announced February 18 that Chris Petrucelli will replace Rory Dames, who resigned a day after the 2021 NWSL championship game. Dames has since been the subject of national stories regarding his alleged abuse of players both on…

De La Salle senior DaJuan Bates launches a shot against Marian Catholic on Friday. He finished with 33 points in the upset blowout win over the Spartans. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Upset Specials: De La Salle girls crowned regional champs; Meteors boys shock Marian Catholic

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer It was quite a 24-hours for De La Salle’s basketball teams. And it started out wrong. So wrong. On a snowy night when some area games were canceled because of a winter storm, the Meteors’ girls squad made the trek to Burbank to take on host St. Laurence…

Lyons swimmers figure to have three high placing relay teams in the state meet, which starts Friday in Westmont. Photo courtesy of Lyons Township High School

Area Sports Roundup: Lyons and Sandburg lead contingent of area swimmers headed to state

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff writer Lyons, which won state titles in boys swimming in 2016 and 2017 and took second in 2018, is bringing a huge contingent of athletes to the IHSA state meet this weekend. Lyons is sending three relay teams and individual qualifiers in four events to the event, which will…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Bowling: Shepard and Stagg finish strong at first state finals

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent The new teams on the block proved they belonged. The Shepard and Stagg girls bowling teams both made it to the IHSA state finals for the first time in their programs’ histories this season, and put the icing on the proverbial cake by advancing to the tournament’s second day.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Four Mount Carmel wrestlers win titles; Sandburg’s Zimmer, Shepard’s Reed settle for 2nd

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Millar  Correspondent CHAMPAIGN — Heavyweight wrestling matches are often slow, defensive battles, but Mount Carmel senior Ryan Boersma decided early this season he did not want to compete that way anymore. “When I was young, a freshman and sophomore, I survived off defense,” Boersma said. “That doesn’t work in college so…

The Oak Lawn Spartans girls basketball team. (Supplied photo)

Oak Lawn girls take on Kenwood tonight for Regional title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Brian Frangella Trying to win a conference championship in any sport requires the ability to overcome obstacles that may get in the way. Last year, it was the uncertainty and oddity of dealing with a global pandemic that presented challenges for the Oak Lawn Community High School girls basketball team. However, the…

Mary Stanek

Love your dogs, protect your dogs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 284-7394 A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. –Josh Billings Let us love them back as well. Belonging to community groups on Facebook, I see so many…

The Oak Lawn High School boys swim team. (Supplied photo)

Boys swim avenges early losses for second in SSC Red

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Brian Frangella After losing to both Shepard and Evergreen Park during the regular season, the Oak Lawn Community High School boys swim team knew it had its work cut out for it at the South Suburban Conference Red meet last weekend. And the Spartans were well prepared for the challenge as they…

Daniel Brown

Orland Park arrests man as an armed habitual criminal

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports A Chicago man was arrested in Orland Park last week after he was stopped and a handgun was found in his waistband. Police stopped a vehicle traveling northbound in the 16900 block of LaGrange Road about 10 p.m. on Monday, February 7. The vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation…

Neighbors

Swanson scores, assists in Red Stars’ win over Reign

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Red Stars improved to 3-1-1 by beating the Seattle Reign, 2-1, on the road on April 21. Mallory Swanson had an assist on an Ali Schlegel goal in the fourth minute and added a goal of her own in the 31st minute. Swanson missed last season after sustaining a knee injury on…

Tatumn Milazzo, shown at media day before the season started, was amused by winning a Save of the Week award. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Red Stars’ Tatumn Milazzo has top Save of the Week

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Tatumn Milazzo called her achievement “funny.” The Chicago Red Stars defender and Orland Park native was awarded the NWSL’s Save of the Week after chasing down a ball in a loss to Angel City on April 13. The Save of the Week usually goes to a goalie. Milazzo laughed…

A lone white volleyball sitting on a wooden floor

Men’s College Volleyball | Saint Xavier captures fifth straight conference tourney title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The SXU men’s volleyball team won its fifth straight Chicagoland Christian Athletic Conference tournament championship after a 25-16, 25-17, 25-22 sweep of Calumet College of St. Joseph on April 20 at the Shannon Center. Jan Lopuch had 10 kills and nine digs for the Cougars. With the win, the…

Baseball in a mitt with a black bat low angle selective focus view on a baseball field

College Baseball | Saint Xavier upsets Eastern Illinois

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Saint Xavier baseball team picked up a win that its players are going to remember for a long time. The Cougars stunned Eastern Illinois, 4-2, on April 17 in Charleston. It was the Cougars’ first win over the Panthers, a Division I program, since 2005. Lyons grad Troy…

A lone white volleyball sitting on a wooden floor

Boys Volleyball | Glenbard West tops Marist to stay unbeaten

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Marist boys volleyball team, ranked fifth in the nation by USA Today/American Volleyball Coaches, lost to Glenbard West, 25-23, 25-21, in the championship match at the Brother Rice Smack Attack on April 20 in Chicago. Glenbard West (19-0) is the two-time defending state champion and is ranked third…

Alliyah Flores and her St. Laurence teammates earned academic honors by the IBCA. Photo by Jeff Vorva

St. Laurence hoops teams top honor roll

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Area basketball teams proved to be strong on the court and in the classroom this season, and St. Laurence was the leader of the pack. The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association compiled a list of the top academic teams, and the area did well. In Division 3 girls, St. Laurence…

St. Rita's David Lyle won honors from the Chicago Bears. St. Rita photo

Chicago Bears recognize St. Rita senior with All-Star award

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Chances are good that few outside of St. Rita football circles know who David Lyle is. With good reason. Lyle missed his senior season for the Mustangs last fall after sustaining a serious knee injury. He even postponed having knee surgery so that he could take care of his…

CRRNH_CosmoPhotoMDWArmory_032724

Pols want 63rd St. armory for new police HQ

Spread the love

Spread the love. Porfirio, Guerrero-Cuellar push plan in Springfield . By Tim Hadac Any plans the Chicago Department of Aviation may have had for the vacant Army National Guard Midway Armory, 5400 W. 63rd St., may be grounded, at least for now. Several elected officials are eyeing the parcel as the headquarters of a new…

Stacy Cygan. --Supplied photo

Her back against the wall, Stacy needs help

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Tim Hadac Editor Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound (708)-496-0265 . Clearing and Garfield Ridge have earned a reputation as a place where people look out for each other—and that sometimes means caring for each other in times of need. Today, I want to talk about one such person, who sure could use…

CRRNH_OLS3rdGradersWinPizzaParty_042424

It’s (pizza) party time at OLS

Spread the love

Spread the love. Third graders at Our Lady of the Snows School break into cheers as they learn they’ve won a pizza party for selling more raffle booklets than any other class. The recent Grand Raffle fundraiser brought in about $6,000. Parents looking for a grade school for their sons and daughters for 2024-25 are…