Implementing Bayh-Dole-like laws: Faculty problems and their impact on university patenting activity

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The implementation of a Bayh-Dole-like legislation outside the US is still a major concern that needs to be addressed. I fill this gap in two ways. First, I report the results of a faculty survey on obstacles to patenting activity in Italian universities, targeted both to inventors and to those non-inventors which reported to engage in university patenting activity and to give up before any patents could be filed. Second, I investigate their effect in a regression model using universities' patent counts as the dependent variable. Results show that obstacles to university patenting activity reduce to four dimensions: lack of support mechanisms (including insufficient reward for researchers, lack of a TTO, lack of funds to cover patenting costs), commercialisation problems, too heavy teaching and administrative duties, and personal/cultural problems (related to the scarce knowledge of institutional-level patent regulations and to the "open science" mentality of the university). Among them, however, only the lack of support by the university administration reduces the patent counts. Publication productivity has an inverted U-shaped relation with patent counts, but the overall effect is still largely positive, given the current publication levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1224
Number of pages8
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Faculty survey
  • Obstacle
  • Open science
  • Substitution effect
  • University patent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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