University Of Glasgow Frees Up Research Instead Of Trying To Sell It All
from the good-for-them dept
The other problem is that, since these tech transfer offices are focused on making money, and all they have to sell is patents, they started to overvalue the patents themselves, making them prohibitively expensive, which actually decreased the ability to get those ideas out to the commercial sector and to turn that research into big money. And, did we mention how expensive it is to set up and run some of these tech transfer offices? A study from a few years back found that the majority of tech transfer offices lost money, with only a tiny handful (somewhere around a dozen) actually making money.
Oh, and on top of all that, this focus on putting up locks for the sake of charging has actually made basic research much harder as well, since much of it is based on freely sharing ideas -- which is made more difficult when you want to hoard the idea in order to get a patent.
At some point, you would think universities would recognize this. They're losing money, harming their own research and going against their basic principles as institutions for disseminating knowledge. Thankfully, some are finally starting to get the message. James Boyle points us to the news that the University of Glasgow has announced that it will be offering up most of its research under a free license. It is still reserving a few "key" bits of research for fee-based licensing, but it appears the default will now be free, which seems like it should be a good thing in terms of actually commercializing the research out of the university.