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On December 23, 2010, a Venable team led by Senator Birch Bayh filed an amicus brief in the US Supreme Court. This brief benefits the research institution technology transfer system that has grown and thrived based on the "innovation about innovation" that was the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980. The question presented in the Stanford v. Roche case was essentially whether a university inventor can independently assign a federally-funded invention to a private company. This cuts to the core of the Bayh-Dole system and threatens to destroy it. Senator Bayh's brief argues that inventors have no such right to transfer federally funded inventions.

The brief explains the genesis of the Bayh-Dole Act, including the problems that it was intended to solve, and the basis for the Act's delicately balanced hierarchy, in which funded institutions hold first rights to inventions, followed by the government funding agency, with inventors deriving their rights from the funded institution or the government. The brief also outlines why the legislation establishing this system was so successful.

The Bayh-Dole Act has been hailed as one of the most inspired pieces of legislation, and has spawned thousands of successful products, companies, and jobs, in all technologies, across the US.

The Venable team included partners John Cooney, Michael Gollin, and associate David Conway. For additional information on this filing, please view our client alert, here.