Friday, September 22, 2006

Buzz on Milken study on academic patenting

In terms of number and quality of patents over the years 2000-2004, the Milken Institute study (Ross DeVol lead author) ranked the University of Texas first and three University of California campuses ahead of Wisconsin, the holder of the Thomson stem cell patents now bothering California's CIRM.

The study also considered publication of papers. UW-Madison ranked 14th in publication of biotechnology research, as measured by papers and citations. Harvard University ranked first followed by University of Tokyo and University of London, while California universities hold five of the top 25 rankings.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the 300-page report was paid for by Inflect Technologies, a New York firm that invests in university intellectual property and commercialization of academic inventions. Milken declined to specify the cost of the study, which compared U.S. universities and their counterparts in Europe, Canada, Latin America, Australia, Japan, China and other countries.

Of relevance to the Bayh-Dole Act, the study found that European universities establish about three times as many new companies relative to research expenditures as those in the United States and Canada.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked No. 1 in turning research discoveries into commercial products and companies, through licensing agreements and start-up firms. The University of California system was second. One notes that MIT was involved in the Ariad and Abacus litigations, and UC/Berkeley was involved in the Eolas case.


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