Thursday, March 30, 2006

David Mowery confused on Bayh-Dole?

Mowery: Bayh-Dole still serves as an adequate body of rules to govern who should reap the rewards of scientific innovation. "To begin tampering with this legislation on the question of stem cell research in order to set up what amounts to a separate set of laws for this new area of research will dramatically raise overhead costs and serve as a drag on innovation," he says. "The relatively small amount of money that will be returned to taxpayers will hardly make it worth it."

In the context of proposing rules to effect STATE funding of research, NO ONE is talking about tampering with the Bayh-Dole Act, which pertains to conditions for recipients of FEDERAL money to receive patent rights.

There are issues with the use of tax-exempt bonds issued by the STATE that have no counterpart in the FEDERAL financing scheme. Further, there are issues with patent infringement by STATE entities (Florida Prepaid Postsecondary) that have evolved since the Bayh-Dole Act. Further, the impact of 271(e)(1) on research related to FDA approvals, which law came AFTER Bayh-Dole, remains to be contemplated.

Issues facing states who wish to fund stem cell research go way beyond the Bayh-Dole Act. No one is talking about tampering with the Bayh-Dole Act, but states have to face the new issues.

MOREOVER, some people would NOT agree with Mowery's contention that Bayh-Dole is an adequate body of rules.

For example, one should read an IPBiz post on September 15 about a Fortune article on Bayh-Dole.

Further, Dianne Irving wrote in a rather dark vein:

But instead of fostering better industry, public health and job opportunities, the [Bayh-Dole] movement has imploded inward, leaving extensive economic and healthcare damage in its wake. It has turned universities into "companies" vying with industry and individual scientists for "intellectual property" rights and patents, resulting in contentious, lengthy and costly litigation, in turn resulting in the forced silencing of university scientists and inordinate pressures to falsify their data. In addition to taxpayers toting the bills for this, the expected boost in health care for the public has instead turned into drug company "busts", requiring the public to pay even more exorbitant prices for dangerous or useless "expedited" drugs and ever-higher health care costs.

In the threat by WARF against CIRM in advance of research in stem cells under Proposition 71, we see a taste of things to come in contentious, lengthy, and costly litigation in the arena of state-funded stem cell research.

As to Mowery's assertion-->

#1. It is incorrect in suggesting that states, in dealing with issues in state-funding of stem cell research, are "tampering" with Bayh-Dole legislation. Bayh-Dole has nothing to do with what they are doing.

#2. Whether or not Bayh-Dole is an adequate body of rules has been questioned.

#3. California taxpayers were told, on the ballot, about taxpayer revenue that would result from funding Proposition 71. Whether or not that the expectation of revenue was reasonable may be questioned; however, it is a "bait and switch" tactic to tell taxpayers, after the vote, that the representation was wrong and the "benefits" lie elsewhere.


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