The UC system’s patent tracking system, or PTS, will be entirely replaced with a new intellectual property, or IP, management system within the next five years.
In place of the usual board meeting, the UC Board of Regents opened its September meeting with the Special Committee on Innovation Transfer and Entrepreneurship. Public comment included concerns about a lack of climate change action, as well as requests to divest from the 30-meter telescope on Mauna Kea and to finalize union contracts.
Committee chair and Regent Lark Park opened the meeting by acknowledging the university’s first-place ranking in the National Association of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association annual report on top worldwide university patent holders.
“As it has for years, the UC (system) is again ranked number one with 589 patents. This is where our power of 10 really shows,” Park said at the meeting. “We are very proud of that fact, but the business of this committee is to elevate all of our campuses so that all of our campuses can take top honors in terms of patents granted, licenses issues and entrepreneurial activity supported.”
The committee is in its second year of operation and its main goal is to oversee the implementation of IP recommendations, including the transition from the UC Office of the President, or UCOP, operated PTS to a more campus-specific IP management system.
PTS was originally developed to handle patent-related financials, but has since been expanded to include patent management as well, which are typically two independent systems.
As each campus is highly unique, the new system will assign more roles and responsibilities to individual campuses, with UCOP assuming a more advisory role. Chancellors are expected to decide which responsibilities they are capable of taking on by November.
“PTS will be replaced. Period,” said senior strategy officer for UCOP Dorothy Miller at the meeting. “Each campus will be able to support a thriving local and regional innovation and economic development ecosystem.”
The Investments Committee also met Tuesday to discuss the university’s performance for fiscal year 2021-22 and next steps in this regard.
The committee first reviewed inflation and past performance, then discussed future investment strategies, particularly on a global scale. Notably, UCOP chief investment officer and vice president of investments Jagdeep Singh Bachher was a proponent of divesting internationally and investing more in the United States.
“We will see what happens and how successful the (Federal Reserve) is in bringing inflation down,” said Satish Ananthaswamy, UC Investments senior portfolio manager and UC Berkeley Haas School of Business professional faculty. “The (Federal Reserve) really feels emboldened because the U.S. macroeconomic conditions are pretty resilient.”
Ananthaswamy said he expects the Federal Reserve to continue raising interest rates until it sees a rise in unemployment and that the U.S. dollar will continue to be strong as central banks worldwide “aggressively fight” inflation.
Bachher noted his bias had shifted away from investing in China toward investing more in India and the United States, in part due to geopolitical developments surrounding COVID-19 and higher annualized returns on equity investments in India and the United States compared to China.
For the remaining two days of the regents’ meeting, the Board and seven more committees will convene, concluding with a joint meeting between the Academic and Student Affairs Committee and the Finance and Capital Strategies Committee on Thursday.