Compliance Under the Bayh-Dole Act

The Bayh-Dole Act is a federal law enacted in 1980 that enables universities, nonprofit research institutions and small businesses to own, patent and commercialize inventions developed under federally funded research programs within their organizations.

This law created a uniform patent policy among the federal agencies that fund research that ultimately has motivated more and more universities, including the University of Missouri, to become actively involved in the transfer of technology to market. It allows UM to retain title to and actively license these technologies.

Major provisions of and university obligations specified the Act include:

  • Universities are entitled to retain title (ownership) of inventions created as a result of federal funding.
  • Once a University innovator discloses an invention derived from federally funded research, the University has a deadline to disclose that information to the relevant federal agency(ies).
  • Universities are expected to file patents on inventions they elect to own
  • Universities are encouraged to collaborate with commercial concerns to promote the utilization of inventions arising from federal funding.
  • Universities are generally expected to give licensing preference to small businesses, while maintaining the fair-market value of the invention.
  • When granting an exclusive license, the University is expected to ensure that the invention will be "manufactured substantially" in the United States.
  • The University must share a portion of licensing revenues with the inventor(s).
  • The government retains a non-exclusive license to practice the patent throughout the world.
  • The government retains "march-in" rights, or the right to take control of the invention should the University not attempt to develop and commercialize it or for other reasons, such as a need to alleviate health or safety concerns.

Title 37 - Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights (Code of Federal Regulations) (PDF 2.27MB)

Potential Conflict of Interest in Technology Transfer

The University of Missouri-St. Louis is committed to fostering an academic environment in which the University's teaching, research, service, and economic development missions are furthered. Participation in outside professional or commercial activities make important direct and indirect contributions to the strength and vitality of the University. Such activities add knowledge that is relevant and useful to teaching and research, develop sources of funding, and establish relationships valuable to the University.

However, the pursuit of the University’s diverse missions can lead to inherent conflicts of interest. As a steward of public funds and public trust, the UMSL is committed to identifying activities that present the potential for conflicts and managing them to assure that they do not threaten the integrity of the University of Missouri-St. Louis' students, staff, and faculty.

Employee interactions with the private sector carry potential for conflict of interest, or the perception of such conflicts. To address the issue, the University of Missouri System has developed conflict of interest policies (see Collected Rules & Regulations 330.015 and 420.030). Per the policy, all employees are required to submit an Outside Interest Disclosure Form.  

A case that often arises in technology transfer regarding potential conflict of interest is when the University is negotiating a license with a faculty startup company. In such situations, the faculty members involved would need to disclose via eCompliance before the license could be signed. 

For more information about University policies and procedures regarding potential conflicts of interest, visit

More Information

For more information about intellectual property management and technology transfer at UMSL, visit the IP Management & Commerciaization site or contact Tamara Wilgers, Director, at or 314-516-6884.