The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 270–289 | Cite as

A legal perspective on university technology transfer

  • Christopher S. HayterEmail author
  • Jacob H. Rooksby


In the thirty-five years after passage of the Bayh–Dole Act of 1980, a robust literature has documented the emergence of university technology transfer as a critical mechanism for the dissemination and commercialization of new technology stemming from federally-funded research. Missing from these investigations, however, is what this paper terms the legal perspective, an understanding of how the law and its attendant mechanisms impact university technology transfer. Specifically, the paper reviews the extant legal scholarship and provides examples of how case law, legal structures, and the unique nature of intellectual property law affects technology transfer, as well as higher education policy and management. Throughout, we propose critical questions for future investigation, which serve to form a cross-disciplinary research agenda that can contribute fresh insights to scholarly and policy discussions related to the role of universities in economic and social development.


Technology transfer Bayh–Dole Law Patents Legal research 

JEL classification

O32 O34 O38 



The order of the authors is alphabetical and each made equal contributions to the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Organization Research and Design, School of Public AffairsArizona State UniversityPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.School of LawDuquesne UniversityPittsburghUSA

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