Innovation, the Bayh-Dole Act, and March-In Rights
The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 has been transformative for U.S. innovation. Universities and research institutes are essential to America’s innovation ecosystems, creating opportunities for high value jobs and economic growth as emerging technologies are brought to market. During 2020, the U.S. innovation community celebrated the Bayh-Dole Act’s 40th Anniversary, and the many products and services upon which we rely every day that have resulted from intellectual property that came out of basic research supported by federal funding. These include discoveries that have led to important drugs, diagnostics and vaccines – such as several that were rapidly deployed in the fight against COVID-19.
Bringing early stage technologies from university labs to commercial markets often involves substantial risks, and so university license agreements with private sector organizations – ranging from start-ups to well-established firms – requires companies to work diligently to develop and make products available, to benefit people and the economy. The Bayh-Dole Act also includes provisions for March-in Rights by the federal funding agencies to take action if the licensed technologies are not being put to use.
For several years, it has been proposed that government March-in Rights be given a new use – for price controls, and particularly for reasonably-priced drugs. March-In Rights have never been exercised, but in recent days, some members of Congress have also advocated using march-in rights to take inventions that led to COVID vaccines away from successful companies and make them available to others. The debate about using March-In Rights and the role of intellectual property has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, and also with the proposed rulemaking for Bayh-Dole issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in January 2021.
The distinguished speakers in this Program hosted by CSIS will consider the importance of basic research for U.S. innovation, the impacts of the Bayh-Dole Act for society and the economy, and the implications of the proposed new use of March-In Rights with the goal of increasing product access while reducing costs.
John J. Hamre, President and CEO, and Langone Chair in American Leadership, CSIS
Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), Co-chair, Health Care Innovation Caucus & Commissioner, CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security
Dr. Barbara Snyder, President, Association of American Universities (AAU)
Gillian Fenton, Esq., CLP, President and Chair, Licensing Executives Society (USA and Canada) and Special Counsel – Innovation and Government Collaborations at GlaxoSmithKline
Dr. Stephen Susalka, Chief Executive Officer, AUTM
Joseph Allen, Joseph Allen & Associates, and former principal staffer for the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act with Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN)
Dr. Walter G. Copan, Senior Adviser, Renewing American Innovation Project, CSIS, and former Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
This event is made possible through general support to CSIS.