The valorization of non-patent intellectual property in academic medical centers

Kieren Marr, Phillip Phan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Turning university research output into useful products such as drugs, devices and diagnostics requires skills, knowledge, and resources traditionally attributed to private industry. When it comes to intangibles such as care delivery models, informatics and algorithms, and the software behind smart wearables, the commercialization challenges are even greater. With notable exceptions, Academic Medical Centers have typically not excelled in advancing commercialization of such non-patent intellectual property (IP). We believe that this is in part because the traditional closed form university IP policy, formulated since Bayh–Dole (1980), is ill-suited to non-patent IP. In this paper, we reflect on the evolving challenges that new forms of healthcare-related discoveries, specifically non-patent IP, are placing on the traditional university intellectual property and technology transfer regime, and to offer suggestions on how universities can begin to modernize their IP policies to support the valorization of non-patent IP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1823-1841
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Technology Transfer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Academic medical centers
  • Non-patent intellectual property
  • University technology transfer policies
  • Work-for-hire policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Accounting
  • General Engineering


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