Sociology Index

The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980

Bayh-Dole Act is codified in 35 U.S.C. 200-212, and implemented by 37 C.F.R. 401. The Bayh-Dole Act specifically focused on the rules concerning the disposition of Intellectual Property Rights over inventions that result from federally funded research. The Bayh-Dole Act effectively limited the government’s role in ownership, vesting ownership rights to the organization where the invention is made, along with responsibilities and conditions for how the intellectual property is to be managed.

The Bayh-Dole Act was sponsored by two senators, Birch Bayh of Indiana and Bob Dole of Kansas. Bayh-Dole Act was enacted by the United States Congress on December 12, 1980.

Before the enactment of Bayh-Dole, the U.S. government had accumulated 30,000 Patents. Only approximately 5% of those patents were commercially licensed.

Taking inspiration from the experience of the United States under the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, legislative reforms have been introduced in many countries.

The Bayh-Dole Act: Selected Issues in Patent Policy and the Commercialization of Technology - Summary - - Congressional Research Service - The Library of Congress.
Congressional interest in facilitating U.S. technological innovation led to the passage of P.L. 96-517, Amendments to the Patent and Trademark Act (commonly referred to as the Bayh-Dole Act after its two main sponsors).

The Bayh-Dole act grants patent rights to inventions arising out of government- sponsored research and development (R&D) to certain types of entities with the expressed purpose of encouraging the commercialization of new technologies through cooperative ventures between and among the research community, small business, and industry.

The Bayh-Dole Act has been seen as particularly successful in meeting its objectives. However, while the legislation provides a general framework to promote expanded utilization of the results of federally funded research and development, questions are being raised as to the adequacy of current arrangements.