A long, Hard Journey: From Bayh-Dole to the Federal Technology Transfer Act



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Effective Partnering, the Department of Commerce urged agencies to use “where available, ‘other transactions’ or comparable authority permitting the greatest possible flexibility” in R&D partnerships. Another recommendation was: “Where appropriate, use the “exceptional circumstances” authority of the Bayh-Dole Act to permit industry to own or control the rights to inventions resulting from federal funding, including inventions of subcontractors.” (11)
A precedent was being set away from the goal of creating uniform patent policies across the agencies.
As the years passed, the Bayh-Dole oversight responsibilities slipped from a policy office to the Commerce general counsel responding to specific questions on interpreting the statute. Finally, in 2007 the Bush Administration and Congress agreed to abolish the Technology Administration at Commerce all together. It appears that Bayh-Dole and FTTA oversight will remain a very diminished function of the Department..
This does not bode well for preserving a


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