Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Bayh-Dole Act and Protecting IP

Intellectual property is the foundation of prosperity. Under the Constitution’s guarantee of an “exclusive right” to one’s invention, Americans have led the way in innovation, invention, and creativity. Without the right of inventors to keep and commercialize their ideas, we would lose our edge in science, engineering, manufacturing, industrial arts, and technology.

Patent rights are guaranteed in Article I. It’s no coincidence that Article I also defines Congress’ powers, because Congress protects patents through good legislation. A great example is the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, which opened up thousands of patents for commercial use. Prior to this bill, commercial actors went through a long, cumbersome application process only to receive a non-exclusive license to patents produced by government-funded research. Bayh-Dole streamlined the process and gave exclusive licenses to private entities for commercialization. Taxpayers were already funding the money for the research; Bayh-Dole let them reap its benefits.

The Bayh-Dole Act has been a boon to the US economy, powering thousands of start-up companies and millions of new jobs. This legislation offers a timeless lesson: respect for intellectual property leads to prosperity.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep comments short. Long comments will be deleted.