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New coalition forms to celebrate and protect 40-year-old Bayh-Dole Act

A diverse group of research and scientific organizations has launched a coalition to celebrate and protect the Bayh-Dole Act, now 40 years old, to help ensure that universities and research institutions continue to produce innovations based on their patented inventions that serve the public.

Known formally as the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act, the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 empowered universities, small businesses and nonprofits that have received federal grants to retain ownership of any patented innovations and to license those patents to private companies.

“Bayh-Dole made the United States the engine of global innovation,” says Joseph Allen, former member of Senator Birch Bayh’s U.S. Senate Judiciary staff. Allen is the founder and executive director of the new Bayh-Dole 40 coalition.

“The Act reinvigorated research and development in America, spawning breakthrough discoveries ranging from high-yield crops to advanced medicines,” says Allen.

Founding members of Bayh-Dole 40 include AUTM, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, BioHealth Innovation, Council on Government Relations, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Licensing Executives Society, and PhRMA.

In addition to celebrating the Act, Bayh-Dole 40 will educate lawmakers to ensure it is utilized in the way Senators Birch Bayh and Bob Dole envisioned.

“Misusing the Bayh-Dole to undermine the existing framework for public-private technology transfer and development, as some lawmakers are suggesting, would jeopardize the future of U.S. life sciences innovation,” says Stephen Ezell, vice president of global innovation policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. “We look forward to engaging Congress on these issues to ensure the United States remains a life-sciences R&D powerhouse.”

Source: Bayh Dole 40

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