Transcending the Tacit Dimension: Patents, Relationships and Organisational Integration in Technology Transfer


The audio recording from the Melbourne seminar is now available:

Audio recording (mp3)



Presentation slides (pdf)



Please click here for the SSRN link to this paper.


A free public seminar proudly presented by IPRIA in association with the the Faculty of Law, University of Technology, Sydney.

University-industry technology transfer has attracted significant attention as an important driver of innovation. Conventional conceptions of technology transfer focus on university patenting and licensing; the prevailing notion is that once a university has patented an invention and licensed it to a private company, technology transfer has been achieved. However, empirical studies challenge this view by highlighting the importance of faculty inventors in the process of commercialising university technologies. In particular, faculty inventors retain a significant amount of “tacit knowledge” that is not disclosed in a patent but is very important to developing a patented technology. Thus, in parallel to licensing patents, firms often seek direct relationships with faculty inventors to obtain tacit knowledge and accelerate commercialisation efforts. Ultimately, these relationships can mature into more intensive forms of organisational integration between academic and commercial entities. Such integration has important normative implications for traditional divisions between universities and industry.


Peter LeePeter Lee is a Professor of Law and Chancellor’s Fellow at UC Davis School of Law. He is an expert in patent law, and he has written extensively on patents in biomedical research and university-industry technology transfer. More broadly, Professor Lee’s scholarship examines the intersection of science and society and the patent system’s impact on scientific and technological progress. His scholarship has appeared in leading journals such as The Yale Law Journal, California Law Review, and Michigan Law Review.
Professor Lee is the recipient of numerous awards, including the UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellowship and the Samsung-Stanford Patent Prize. At UC Davis, he teaches Intellectual Property, Patent Law, Property, and a seminar on Innovation and Technology Transfer. He joined the UC Davis faculty after clerking for Judge Barry G. Silverman of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Professor Lee graduated from Yale Law School, where he was a senior editor of The Yale Law Journal. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, where he studied the history and philosophy of science.


Sydney - Natalie Stoianoff,
Professor of Law & Director, Intellectual Property Program, UTS

Natalie co-authored Intellectual Property Law: Text and Essential Cases (The Federation Press) and edited the multidisciplinary book Accessing Biological Resources, Complying with the Convention on Biological Diversity (Kluwer Law International). Her research is concerned with the legal, ethical and commercial aspects of biotechnology and biodiversity. She has held grants/fellowships from the Australian Research Council and Max-Planck Institute and is also Vice President of the Australia-China Business Council (NSW).


Melbourne - Jason Coonan,
General Manager, Contract and Asset Management, UoM Commercial Ltd

Jason is a widely experienced IP and technology commercialisation executive with a strong background in successfully managing IP assets and commercialisation at scientific research and development organisations. Prior to his current role, Jason was General Manager of the Technology Commercialisation division of UoM Commercial Ltd where he led the team responsible for commercialisation of research innovations created at The University of Melbourne. Jason is a registered Australian patent and trade marks attorney.


Continuing Professional Development

Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys

If this particular educational activity is relevant to your professional development, improving your practice and service to your clients, you may be able to claim CPE hours. Please refer to the Professional Standards Board Website and its guidelines on CPE.


Tuesday 9 July 2013
6pm - 7pm

Refreshments from 5:30pm

Law Conference Room, 3.18
Level 3, Law Faculty, Block B
University of Technology,
(Corner of Quay St and Ultimo Road)

Sydney Flyer


Wednesday 10 July 2013
6pm - 7pm

Refreshments from 5:30pm

Melbourne Law School
Lecture Theatre G08, Ground Floor
185 Pelham Street

Melbourne Flyer



Mr James Davis
Ph: +61 3 8344 2153
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111