NIST Requests Comments on Proposed Changes to Bayh-Dole Regulations

NIST Requests Comments on Proposed Changes to Bayh-Dole Regulations

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking feedback on proposed changes to regulations that support the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act of 1980, commonly known as the Bayh-Dole Act. This update to Bayh-Dole represents an important element of the Return on Investment Initiative for Unleashing American Innovation through inventions arising from the federal government’s more than $150 billion annual investment in research and development. The call for comments was published in the Federal Register

“The Bayh-Dole Act is a foundational pillar of U.S. innovation, technology transfer and entrepreneurship,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Walter G. Copan. “This proposed modernization of Bayh-Dole for the 21st century is the culmination of an extensive nationwide stakeholder engagement process and also represents a consensus of federal government interagency experts. We at NIST look forward to receiving feedback on these proposed updates, in support of America’s enduring role as the world’s innovation leader.” 

The act requires universities, other nonprofit organizations and businesses to disclose inventions that were developed with the use of federal funds. It allows those organizations to retain title to their inventions, incentivizing inventors, entrepreneurs and investors in the interests of economic vitality and for the public good.   

The proposed revisions remove outdated and unnecessary language and reorganize a number of sections for clarity. The revisions also:

Clarify definitions and applicability of Bayh-Dole to large businesses;
Provide additional clarification for processes for march-in, assigning rights to employee inventors, small business considerations, and filing provisional patent applications;
Create a new requirement for agencies to annually report statistics about the implementation of Bayh-Dole;
Provide additional information about the ..