AUTM U.S. Licensing Survey 2009

AUTM released their 2009 report for technology transfer licensing activities.  Of particular interest is the 596 start-up companies that were created in the middle of an economic recessision.  This Survey suggests that in 2009 Bayh-Dole contributed to growth in an otherwise declining economy, created jobs, and helped fund future research. 

Here are the U.S. Highlights:

Economic Impact

The number of licenses executed increased 5.6 percent, whereas the number of options decreased 3.4 percent. Total licenses and options increased 3.8 percent. The number of startups was essentially unchanged.

Products, startups and licenses/options:

• 658 new commercial products launched

• 5,328 total licenses and options executed, 4,374 of which were licenses

• 596 startup companies formed, 435 of which had their primary place of business in the licensing institution’s home state

• 3,423 startups still operating as of the end of 2009


Technology Transfer Pipeline

Research expenditures continued to increase: total research and development spending increased 4.7 percent, federal expenditures increased 1.9 percent, and given the financial downturn, an 8.2 percent surge in industrial research funding was especially significant.

Research expenditures:

• $53.9 billion total sponsored research expenditures

• $33.3 billion in federally funded sponsored research expenditures

• $4.0 billion in industry-sponsored research expenditures


Intellectual Property Management

The number of disclosures received increased 1 percent.


• 20,309 disclosures

AUTM analyzed, in great depth — the areas within which the disclosures fell and was able to categorize 66 percent of the disclosures or 13,376.

Total U.S. patent applications filed decreased almost 4 percent, while new patent applications declined almost 1 percent. However, the number of foreign filings increased significantly, up almost 56 percent.

Patents filed:

• 18,214 total U.S. patent applications

• 12,109 new patent applications

• 1,322 non-U.S. patent applications

The number of patents issued increased nearly 4 percent.

Patents issued:

• 3,417 issued patents


License Income

Total license income decreased 32.5 percent in 2009. This decrease is largely due to 2008’s figures including substantial one time payments received by Northwestern University, City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute, Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The decrease was across the board: Running royalties dropped 29.7 percent, cashed-in equity dropped 45 percent, and other income dropped 35.5 percent.

• Total income: $2.3 billion

• Running royalty: $1.6 billion

• Cashed-in equity: $24.4 million

• Other income: $362 million


AUTM’s 2010 Better World Report Highlights

 AUTM released their Better World Report for 2010 highlighting academic innovations commercially developed through technology transfer that are improving the quality of life.  Here is a quote from their press release.

A device that allows the blind to ―see‖ via electrical pulses applied to the tongue…a collagen scaffold to treat damaged joints…a new vaccine to prevent shingles…an artificial lung that provides patients with both mobility and comfort during treatment…a program that vastly improves literacy among middle and high-school age students…a device that transforms wheelchairs into all-terrain vehicles…a vaccine to prevent HPV…

These are just a few of the discoveries featured in the 2010 edition of the AUTM Better World Report, a collection of stories about technologies that originated in academic research and were brought to the public through technology transfer, the process of licensing and commercializing academic research so it can become real products that make the world a healthier and safer place.

Senator Birch Bayh writes the foreword and includes impressive evidence of Bayh-Dole’s success.

• More than 6,000 new U.S. companies were formed from university inventions.

• 4,350 new university licensed products are in the market.

• 5,000 active university-industry licenses are in effect, mostly with small companies.

• More than 153 new drugs, vaccines or in vitro devices have been commercialized from federally funded research since enactment of Bayh-Dole.

• Between 1996 and 2007 university patent licensing made:

❍ a $187 billion impact on the U.S. gross domestic product,

❍ a $457 billion impact on U.S. gross industrial output; and

❍ 279,000 new jobs in the United States.

A fairly impressive accomplishment considering before Bayh-Dole Senator Bayh states:

 “We found 28,000 government-funded inventions gathering dust on agency shelves with not a single drug commercialized when the government owned the patent.”

The report is an interesting read as it includes a small snapshot of what the academic and private sector can do when patent ownership incentives are properly aligned.