We talk a lot about the role of the Bayh-Dole Act in developing new medicines—but what about the impact on university ag tech transfers? Agweek takes a look.
Bayh-Dole in a nutshell:The Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act (a.k.a. Bayh-Dole) empowers universities, small businesses, and non-profits to take ownership of inventions made with federally funded research, so they can license these inventions for further applied R&D and broader public use.
It’s advanced biomedical innovation: “Bayh-Dole has spurred 13,000 startups, resulted in more than 100,000 new patents, and led to the disclosure of more than 420,000 inventions just from 1996-2017,” reported Bloomberg Law—as well as some 300 drugs on the market.
But some want to allow the federal government to wrongly use it to “march in” and seize the patents—which could have widespread impact on all university research, including agricultural research.
Here’s why: “If the federal government unilaterally disturbs deals between universities and private companies that would drive companies away from university collaborations…it could build a ‘wall’ between basic and applied research and could stifle developments that benefit farmers and humanity in general,” explains Agweek.
The bottom line: “Farmers and agriculture could lose out in this struggle, if federal officials make it more difficult to transfer technology from the university laboratory to commercialization,” said Kevin Walters of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which is a repository for funds acquired through research deals between university researchers and the private sector, and invests money for use in future research.
The Bayh-Dole Act has been driving R&D and innovation for 40+ years—learn more at bayhdolecoalition.org.
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RealClearPolicy (Opinion): Gene Editing: A 21st Century Tool to Combat Climate Change
“Gene editing aligns and mutually reinforces the incentives of the earth and her inhabitants—more and better food, more and cleaner water, all the while safeguarding biodiversity,” writes Dr. Allen Van Deynze, Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center and Associate Director of the Plant Breeding Center at UC Davis.