Bayh-Dole Act

Enacted in 1980, the Bayh-Dole Act (PL 96-517, Patent and Trademark Act Amendments of 1980) created a uniform policy for federal granting agencies to follow in handling inventions based on federally funded research programs. The Bayh-Dole Act was instrumental in encouraging universities to participate in technology transfer activities.

Major provisions of the Act include:

  • Non-profits, including universities, and small businesses may elect to retain title to innovations developed under federally funded research programs.
  • Universities are encouraged to collaborate with commercial concerns to promote the utilization of inventions arising from federal funding.
  • Universities are expected to file patents on inventions they elect to own.
  • Universities are expected to give licensing preference to small businesses.
  • The government retains a non-exclusive license to practice the patent throughout the world.
  • The government retains march-in rights.

Title 37 - Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights (Code of Federal Regulations)