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The Bayh-Dole Act (P.L. 96-517, Amendments to the Patent and Trademark Act of 1980) - The Next 25 Years

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 12:00am
Washington, DC

Opening Statement By Chairman David Wu

I want to welcome everyone to this afternoon’s general hearing on Bayh-Dole. More than 25 years have passed since Bayh-Dole was enacted. It is time to assess the impact of Bayh-Dole and how we can improve technology transfer from Federal investment in R&D. I want to mention that this will be our first hearing on technology transfer issues. The Subcommittee will hold a subsequent hearing on Stevenson-Wydler.

It took almost 20 years to achieve passage of the Bayh-Dole Act. Indeed the House Committee on Science and Technology held hearings in 1979 and 1980 on the original legislation. This Committee has been a strong supporter of improving technology transfer.

Broad economic conditions were a factor shaping Bayh-Dole. The U.S. economy was in a recession, productivity was declining, and the U.S. faced growing competition internationally from Germany and Japan. Promoting university based innovation and technology transfer to industry was seen as an important policy lever to counter these developments. And it still is today as we face greater global competition – which now includes R&D.

The purpose of this hearing is to assess the current implementation of Bayh-Dole from the perspectives of universities and industry, and to hear recommendations to improve the current implementation as we look toward the next 25 years.

A few key questions we will consider today:

  • What has been the impact of the current implementation of Bayh-Dole on federally funded university research, technology transfer and commercialization of that research?
  • How has Bayh-Dole shaped university–industry research collaboration? Are there differences in interpretation of the statute and regulations by universities and industry?
  • What is the possible effect of the increasing globalization of research? Are US companies turning to foreign universities for research collaboration? How do the intellectual property and business practices at U.S. universities compare to universities in other developed and developing countries?
  • Has Bayh-Dole influenced basic university research, academic collaboration and the broad dissemination of knowledge? In what ways does the law promote innovation; has it created any barriers?
  • How can we improve technology transfer as we look to the next 25 years, to promote innovation, commercialization of federally funded research, and U.S. economic development?

All these questions are on the table today for comment and discussion by our witnesses and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.



1 - Mr. Arundeep S. Pradhan
Director of Technology and Research Collaborations Oregon Health & Science University Oregon Health & Science University
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2 - Dr. Susan B. Butts
Senior Director of External Science and Technology Programs Dow Chemical Company Dow Chemical Company
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3 - Mr. Wayne C. Johnson
Vice President Worldwide University Relations Hewlett-Packard Worldwide University Relations Hewlett-Packard
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4 - Dr. Mark A. Lemley
Director, Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology Professor of Law Stanford University Professor of Law Stanford University
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5 - Dr. Mark G. Allen
Professor, Electrical and Computing Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, CardioMEMS, Inc. Georgia Institute of
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Witness panel
Witnesses testify before the Subcommittee
L-R: Mr. Pradhan, Dr. Butts, Mr. Johnson, Dr. Lemley, Dr. Allen
For information on the witnesses, use the links at left
110th Congress