Enacted on December 12, 1980, the Bayh-Dole
Act (P.L. 96-517, Patent and Trademark Act Amendments of 1980)
created a uniform patent policy among the many federal agencies that
fund research, enabling small businesses and non-profit organizations,
including universities, to retain title to inventions made under
federally-funded research programs. This legislation was co-sponsored by
Senators Birch Bayh of Indiana and Robert Dole of Kansas.The Bayh-Dole
Act was especially instrumental in encouraging universities to
participate in technology transfer activities.
The Act is "perhaps the most inspired piece of legislation to be enacted in America over the past half-century," according to The Economist. "Innovation's Golden Goose," an opinion piece published in the Dec. 12, 2002, edition the respected publication, states: "Together with amendments in 1984 and augmentation in 1986, this unlocked all the inventions and discoveries that had been made in laboratories throughout the United States with the help of taxpayers' money. More than anything, this single policy measure helped to reverse America's precipitous slide into industrial irrelevance."
Major provisions of the Act include:
AUTM Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Bayh-Dole
December 12, 2010 marked the 30th anniversary of the Bayh-Dole Act. This legislation changed fundamentally the way America develops technologies from federally funded university research and effectively secured the country’s leadership position in innovation. AUTM joined forces with the Association of American Universities, BIO, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the American Council on Education to celebrate the Act and communicate its value. The Bayh-Dole Act 30th Anniversary Event was held Dec. 1 at the Washington Convention Center.
The first half of the event included remarks from original congressional sponsor of the Act, Sen. Birch Bayh. Other notable speakers included Sharon Barner, Deputy Director, USPTO and William Kirwan, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland. Patient advocate Betsy de Parry spoke of her diagnosis of an incurable form of follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2002, de Parry talked about the life saving treatment, radioimmunotherapy (RIT), that was co-developed at the University of Michigan. “It was the Bayh-Dole Act that enabled them to turn their discovery into a life-saving treatment that has given many lymphoma patients back their futures,” said de Parry.
de Parry presented awards for Outstanding Contributions to American Innovation to Senators Bayh and Dole. Michael Connor, partner, Alston & Bird, accepted the award for Sen. Dole, who wasn’t able to attend the event.
Sen. Bayh presented The Driving Innovation Award to Howard Bremer, Ralph Davis and Norm Latker for their work in drafting the Bayh-Dole Act. The Bayh-Dole 30th Anniversary Award was presented to Joseph Allen for his work over the past 30 years as a champion for the Bayh-Dole Act.
“Without Senator Bayh’s and Senator Dole’s foresight and commitment to this great nation, not only would the technology transfer profession exist as it does, but countless companies and products like Flumist, the nicotine patch, once-a-day HIV medication and the HPV vaccine might also not be here to help countless lives in our nation and around the world,” said AUTM President Ashley Stevens, D. Phil. (Oxon), CLP.
Former Rep. Jim Greenwood, CEO of BIO (Biotechnology Industry
Organization) moderated the second half of the event, a panel discussion
among business, university and policy leaders which included Sharon
Barner, Deputy Director, USPTO; Sen. Bayh; Betsy de Parry, Patient
Advocate; William E. Kirwan, Chancellor of the University System of
Maryland; and Bart Newland, Biogen.
AUTM also launched a Web site, www.B-D30.org. The site provides links to articles and videos on the Act, its history, current news and more. The site includes examples of technologies and products that originated from federally funded university discoveries. Read more.
A celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Bayh-Dole Act was held
Dec. 9 at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Read the
remarks of USPTO Director David Kappos here.
Over the years, various groups have expressed support or questions about the Bayh-Dole Act. The AUTM Public Policy Committee has tried to compile some of that information into one document of talking points that you may wish to use when speaking with senior university management, legislators, the media, and the general public. We recommend adding another page that highlights the specific successes generated by your organization and have provided some ideas on what you could include.
Senate Committee on the Judiciary for the October 24, 2007 hearing “The Role of Federally-Funded University Research in the Patent System”
House Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, for July 17, 2007 Hearing on “Bayh-Dole – The Next 25 Years”
House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property for July 13, 2000 Oversight Hearing on “Gene Patents and Other Genomic Inventions”
Learn the latest on the Bayh-Dole Act from a Congressional Research Service report for Congress published in March 2012.