Were it not for Bayh-Dole hundreds of MIT technologies would not have been commercialized for the benefit of mankind – estimated to have created 400,000+ jobs in the US. If I were to pick one example that would resonate with everyone it is the following. In 1993 when the US was creating the standard for high definition TV, MIT designed a TV that won a competition sponsored by the FCC. MIT’s ownership in the intellectual property in that TV enabled MIT to insist that the TV standard would be compatible with computers over strong objections from the TV industry. MIT’s success in that argument enabled many features of TVs that we take for granted today as well as the ability to watch TV on computers and other devices. In essence, we can use a TV as a computer and a computer as a TV. The implications are enormous and enabled hundreds of new business opportunities ranging from APPs to content providers.
John T. Preston, former Director of Technology Licensing at MIT and founder of TEM Capital.