For years, China has stolen hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American companies’ intellectual property — everything from patented software code and computer chips to prescription drug formulas and weapons systems.

Thankfully, the Biden administration is making a concerted effort to curtail this theft. Federal investigators now open a new counterintelligence case against Chinese actors every twelve hours on average.

But while administration officials fight China’s high-tech piracy with one hand, they’re threatening Americans’ intellectual property with the other hand. They are threatening to undermine a 42-year-old law that has enabled universities to effectively move research discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace. This academic-to-industry “tech transfer” process is a foundation of pharmaceutical and high-tech innovation — and upending it would kill the goose that has been laying golden eggs for four decades.

Lou Berneman is founding partner emeritus of Osage University Partners. He served as managing director of UPenn CTT, and president of AUTM.

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