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  IP Advocate is a non-profit organization dedicated to equipping the academic research community with critical information needed to understand and traverse the complex flow of policy, law and procedure from innovation through technology transfer and commercialization of intellectual property.

Our world has evolved into a knowledge economy, driven by scientific and technological advancements. Business and industry are profit driven and focus on short-term results, having little appetite for lengthy inquiry. Research universities, however, are inherently established to pursue longer-term thinking and initiatives.

Since passage of the Bayh-Dole Act mandating technology transfer, every research university must now transact in the business world. Due to issues that have risen in this process, IP Advocate has established, as its core mission, the following goals...

 
  • To SERVE as a repository of Intellectual Property (IP) Best Practices.
  • To PROMOTE ethical commercialization of innovations on behalf of the public welfare.
  • To ENCOURAGE mutually beneficial relationships between institutions of higher learning and their researchers.
  • To CULTIVATE innovation in American universities as a valuable national resource.
  • To ESTABLISH a forum for open dialogue and information exchange among faculty, students, researchers and other interested parties.

Universities were not established to be in the business of doing business. Transforming the discoveries of their researchers into widely disseminated products, services, and treatments is a relatively new endeavor for them. Now, university technology transfer offices are charged with the process of patent application and subsequent licensure of their researcher's innovations.

IP Advocate believes it is incumbent upon the university and its technology transfer office to ensure the equitable consideration of its researcher in the licensing and commercialization process. Researchers should play a part throughout the process. Communications should be open and transparent. Cooperation and collaboration between inventor and institution should take precedence over any developing relationship between the technology transfer office and a potential licensor.

Dollars generated by licensing and commercialization can finance more research, but also of key interest to many universities, provide discretionary funds. This revenue can lead to good things - scholarships, charitable giving and other altruistic actions, however, administrators are human and susceptible to character flaws. Discretionary funds lacking accountability can and will be abused. The lure of this income must not be allowed to take precedence over ethics and socially responsible commercialization.

IP Advocate strongly believes if social responsibility and ethics are not foremost in every technology transfer transaction, the public will suffer in the long run. Only by ensuring that all parties are treated equitably, will research continue to thrive and society at large benefit.

 
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