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Posts Tagged: "Senator Birch Bayh"

Bayh-Dole 40 Event: Protect the Future by Embracing the Past

The Bayh-Dole 40 Coalition and IPWatchdog today jointly presented a video webinar commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Bayh-Dole Act— officially the “University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act”—which became law on December 12, 1980. The webinar was hosted by Joseph Allen, a regular IPWatchdog contributor and former Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for former Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN). The event included remarks from Senator Bob Dole, who served as Republican Senator for Kansas from 1969-1996 and co-authored the Bayh-Dole Act; Senator Bayh’s son, Chris Bayh; IPWatchdog Founder and CEO Gene Quinn; and many other speakers from across the political, technology transfer, university research, and legal spheres.

Sage Advice on Rising Above Petty Partisanship from Senator Robert Dole

Former Senator Robert Dole turned 97 last week, but he’s still very much engaged in what’s going on right now. He just wrote a powerful op-ed, Innovation is key to defeating COVID-19. Subtitled “Enacted 40 years ago, the Bayh-Dole Act is helping facilitate the development of coronavirus therapies today,” Senator Dole reviews how the law he crafted with former Senator Birch Bayh revolutionized the commercialization of federally-funded inventions. Bayh-Dole paved the way for companies like Moderna to create critically needed therapies to combat our raging pandemic. But there’s another message Senator Dole delivered that’s just as topical.

Will Bayh-Dole Survive Its 40th Birthday?

Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act. With election day looming, 2020 is likely to be the most politically contentious year of our lifetime. The country is divided right down the middle on many fundamental issues. Rather than debate, the opposing sides often descend into personal attacks, even questioning one another’s patriotism. This isn’t the time you want issues you care about dragged into the public arena, but patent rights and the Bayh-Dole Act have been summoned into the gladiator pit. Happy birthday, indeed.

Bayh-Dole Rocks While the Critics Play the Same False Note

A just-released study co-sponsored by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and AUTM provides new evidence of the significant contribution academic patent licensing makes to the U.S. economy. The report is the most recent in a series, and the numbers are astounding. This couldn’t come at a better time. Renewed efforts are underway to subvert Bayh-Dole from an engine driving innovation into a weapon for government price controls. Even though the Bush, Obama and Trump Administrations wisely rejected their theories, the critics keep banging the drum, and some in Congress are dancing to their tune.

The Washington Post Misses the Mark on March-In Rights

The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently indicated in its “Return on Investment Initiative draft green paper” that it would issue regulations effectively ending attempts to misuse march-in rights to assert government price controls over successfully commercialized federally-funded inventions. Such an announcement was bound to elicit a reaction. That it came in The Washington Post shouldn’t be a surprise. The paper’s April 18 article, “A rare deterrent to limitless drug price increases may die under Trump” gives coverage to both sides, but the takeaway is that something nefarious is underway: “As drug prices have soared, lawmakers and patient advocates have pushed the federal government to deploy for the first time a powerful deterrent: a legal provision that allows it to suspend a drugmaker’s patent and license someone else to produce the drug. Now, responding to industry alarm over those demands, the Trump administration is proposing to strictly limit the little-known power,” said the article. There’s a reason why this “little-known power” has never been used—it doesn’t exist.

In Memory: Farewell to Senator Birch Bayh

On Wednesday, March 14, we lost Senator Birch Bayh.  We knew for several months that this day wasn’t far off, as his health rapidly declined.  I wanted to let him know one more time how grateful I am for having had the privilege of working for him. Yesterday, I spoke with a reporter from the Indianapolis Star who wanted to know what it was like working for Sen. Bayh.  I said that he was the same person in private that you saw in public.  He came to Congress to get things done and had no problem working across party lines. It was a rare Senator who didn’t like Birch Bayh.

New Study Shows Bayh-Dole is Working as Intended—and the Critics Howl

Just as the drug pricing debate on Capitol Hill is heating up, an important new study, “The Bayh-Dole Act’s Vital Importance to the U.S. Life-Sciences Innovation System,” published by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), underscores the law’s contribution to the United States’ lead in the life sciences. The report warns that attempts to misuse the march-in rights provision of the law to control drug prices would have serious consequences to our competitiveness and our health. Predictably, the critics condemned the report as “A lot of myth and propaganda.” Despite being repeatedly rebuffed, they continue to argue the law authorizes the government to license competitors if a resulting product isn’t “reasonably priced.” That debate spilled over to the Capitol Hill unveiling of the study, in which I participated. What happened there sheds a lot of light on the nature of the argument.

Happy Birthday, Senator Birch Bayh

Hopefully, you’ve been fortunate enough—at least once in your life—to work for someone you really admired. That happened to me as a Senate Judiciary Committee staffer for Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN), who gave me the opportunity that changed my life. He turns 91 today… Bayh-Dole not only cut through the bureaucratic red tape strangling the development of federally-funded R&D; it marked a turning point in how patents were viewed in Congress. When I first joined the Committee, patents were considered tools for big business to stifle competition. Intellectual property fell under the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopolies. The Senate Small Business Committee was a hot bed of anti-patent sentiment.

Is NIST Listening? Bayh-Dole is a Model for Federal Tech Transfer Improvement 

It would be a tragic mistake to blame federal tech transfer underperformance on Bayh-Dole. Bayh-Dole needs no amending. Bayh-Dole demonstrates how secure patent rights are the lynchpin to society’s getting the greatest benefit from federal research dollars.

Want a greater ROI for taxpayers? Restore the patent system, protect Bayh-Dole and cut the red tape strangling federal labs

Three events boosted our economic turnaround in the 1980’s: the passage of Bayh-Dole, which injected the incentives of patent ownership into the federal R&D system; the enactment of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which insured the courts would apply the patent law consistently; and the Supreme Court’s ruling in Diamond v Chakraberty that living organisms could be patented. That decision stated that patents could “include anything under the sun that is made by man.” Today that quote is only ironic.

When Big Brother Comes Marching In: Patent Challenges on Entrepreneurial Campuses

Bayh-Dole has recently come under attack, as some are trying to highjack certain provisions to be used as a cost control measure for novel therapeutics as the cost of drugs skyrocket. Should the federal government actually march in on an exclusive license covering a federally funded technology, there will be rippling effects throughout many industries. Academic institutions would reassess the value in investing resources and energy in the commercialization process if they struggle to secure a licensee for their federally funded technologies. The biggest effect, however, will most likely be felt by the general public, as they will no longer benefit from the research their tax dollars have funded for decades, but will instead be on the hook for funding the development of once promising, but now languishing, inventions.

NIH Director Collins Stands Up to the March in Mob

The problem with this theory is that the Bayh-Dole Act does not provide agencies the authority to regulate product prices. The law allows universities and contractors to own inventions made with federal funding so that they can be effectively commercialized. Congress included safeguards in case a dominant company licensed a breakthrough technology with the deliberate purpose of suppressing it, perhaps because it threatened an existing product. If good faith efforts are not being made to bring the invention to “practical application” so it is available on “reasonable terms” the funding agency can march in requiring that another company be licensed “upon terms that are reasonable under the circumstances.” Agencies can also march in if the developer is not able to produce enough product to meet public health or safety needs. In none of these situations is the government empowered to march in just because it doesn’t like a price.

When Government Tried March In Rights To Control Health Care Costs

As we await the decision from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the petition backed by Senator Bernie Sanders and others urging that the march in provision of the Bayh-Dole Act be used to control drug prices, it’s worthwhile to recall the time the agency followed similar advice….Note from the beginning the trigger for marching in was a failure to work towards commercialization and the word “reasonable” applied to royalty rates, not the cost of a product… To understand the original intent, recall that march in rights were designed to prevent companies from licensing federally supported inventions to suppress them. Otherwise, the government can march in. That’s how march in rights have worked since 1947.

Winning the Patent Policy Wars

We’re in the business of transforming early stage, publicly funded research into useful products. The odds against success are long as commercialization requires years of hard work, a lot of money and some luck. We’d like to think that this effort is universally appreciated. Many in this profession ignore the public policy debates swirling around, thinking that no one will believe our critics or that someone else will defeat them. That’s a serious mistake.

Bayh-Dole Under March-in Assault: Can It Hold Out?

The new year was hardly underway before Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and 50 of his House colleagues sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and NIH Director Francis Collins urging them to “march in” under the Bayh-Dole Act to control prices for drugs developed under the law. While the high cost of drugs is a legitimate concern, attempts to address the problem through technology transfer statutes would only guarantee that we will have fewer new drugs, not that they will be cheaper. The march-in provision is intended for instances when a licensee is not making good faith efforts to bring an invention to market or when national emergencies require that more product is needed than a licensee is capable of making, not to fix drug prices.