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Colloquium – Lisa Larrimore Ouellette, Stanford University
Should Physicists Care About Patent Law?
Academic science has become increasingly entwined with patent law in recent decades, with U.S. universities receiving over 5000 patents per year and bringing in billions of dollars in licensing income. But surprisingly little is known about how patents affect university research. Do scientists learn anything from the technical disclosures in patents? Could patents be improved by scientific peer review? How do the financial incentives from patents affect academic scientists? This lecture will describe my empirical research on these questionsâ€”drawn from my background as both a Ph.D. physicist and a lawyerâ€”including survey results, a three-year randomized controlled field experiment on patent peer review, and a study of variation in patent royalty-sharing policies across universities.
Host: Kathryn McGill