Pre Bayh Dole, Government Funded Inventions Collected Dust On Agency 's Watch
1152 Words Nov 9th, 2015 null Page
By the late 1970’s, many in government felt that the failure of American industry to keep pace with Japan and China was in part due to government patent policy. In the only report to Congress discussing Bayh-Dole, Senator Bayh stated:
Evidence is mounting that the United States is falling behind its international competition in the development of new products and inventions. . . . One factor that can be clearly identified as a part of this problem is the inability of Federal agencies to deliver new inventions and processes form their research and development programs to the marketplace where they can benefit the public. A prime cause of this failure is the existence of ineffective patent policies regarding ownership of potentially important discoveries.
Most agencies acquired the patent rights to federally funded research by default. Prior to 1980, private industry licensed and developed less than 5% of the nearly 28,000 patents owned by the government. Thus, over 26,000 patents—covering cutting edge biology, pharmaceuticals, and computing technologies with enormous potential—remained significantly underutilized. “And of that five percent only an infinitesimally small number led to a commercial product.”
This underutilization was mainly attributable to three factors: First, oftentimes it was unclear to private industry what entity owned the private rights. At this time there were 26…