26th maj, 2010

Fortune Lost by University Spells Change for Tech-trans Units

Today’s hottest IP story in Denmark is the Trial against Danish university Syd Dansk Universitet filed by a former researcher at the university.  

Researcher Peter Touborg is upset that SDU did not file for an American patent for his invention relating to calculating side effects of medicines (must be this patent). 

The invention is estimated to have a value of half a billion Danish kroner, which is why the researcher now is suing the university. 

The university claims that all due care have been taken when trying to commercialize the patent. 

The obvious conclusion to draw from this is that the valuation of market potential and patent strategy of the tech-trans unit in the university has been very poor. This should result in re-focusing of the tech-trans unit and its processes. Many tech-trans units are manned by employees who have many other administrative assignments in other areas of the university. When looking towards the best universities you see that the tech-trans units are driven as small businesses by business people and specialists only concerned with commercialization. A study I did some years ago show some common traits in the best American tech trans units. 

One thing I am missing in the articles however is who did the half a billion kroner valuation and how was it done? If I am to guess the valuation have been done by request of the researcher and the valuation could be biased. 

Anyway this case should be a wakeup call for universities to not only keep up their current work but improve their efforts. 

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