The recent surge in patenting by universities has sparked a considerable debate regarding the economic rationale and consequences of rewarding academic scientists with intellectual property rights other than that of priority recognition. The paper surveys the main conceptual issues regarding university patenting, as well as the available empirical evidence, both quantitative and qualitative. While there is little support for concerns over the trade-offs between patenting and publishing, or basic and applied research, concerns over accessibility of research tools have more validity.
Keywords: University patents, anti-commons, priority, scientific research
Jel Code: O31, O34