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Patent Policy

America’s universities are the nation’s principal source of the basic research that expands the frontiers of knowledge and produces discoveries that enhance national security, strengthen economic competitiveness, and enrich the lives of our citizens.

Although university research results are disseminated principally through peer-reviewed publications, conferences, and other forms of open communication, they also are distributed through technology transfer, where fundamental discoveries are moved into the commercial sector for development into useful products.

The landmark 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, which authorized universities and small businesses to retain patent and licensing rights to inventions resulting from federally funded research, has been an extraordinarily successful mechanism for facilitating the transfer of basic discoveries into the commercial sector for development. The patent system is an integral part of this process.

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