In the US experience, the Bayh-Dole Act has been considered as the major cause of an increase in technology transfer through university patents. Bayh-Dole inspired regulations to emerge in European countries as an attempt to increase university–business relations. Nevertheless, a much smaller amount of empirical evidence has been produced in Europe, compared to the USA, on the effects of such policy changes. In addition, such evidence rarely takes into account forms of technology transfer other than university patenting. This paper highlights how unexpected adverse effects can arise from Bayh-Dole-inspired reforms in Europe and suggests ways to take these into account when designing policy evaluations as well as policy interventions.
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