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Bayh-Dole Act: Selected Issues in Patent Policy and the Commercialization of Technology
Wendy H. Schacht (au)
Congressional interest in facilitating U.S. technological innovation led to the passage of P.L. 96-517, Amendments to the Patent and Trademark Act (commonly referred to as the Bayh-Dole Act after its two main sponsors). The act provides patent rights to certain inventions arising out of government-sponsored R&D to non-profit institutions and small businesses with the expressed purpose of encouraging the commercialization of new technologies through cooperative ventures between and among the research community, small firms, and industry. Patents provide an economic incentive for companies to pursue further development and commercialization. This report discusses the rationale behind the passage of P.L. 96-517, its provisions, and implementation of the law. Observers generally agree that the Bayh-Dole Act has successfully met its objectives. However, some experts argue that the issues associated with the lawäó»s patent policies should be revisited given the current R&D environment, due to the legislationäó»s effect on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries where critics assert that the private sector is receiving benefits to the detriment of the public interest. Other analysts, particularly in the defense arena, maintain that the existing rights maintained by the government are too restrictive and prevent industry from meeting national needs. This is a print on demand report.
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