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NIST Looks to Update Legislation on Patent Licensing Disclosure; Walter Copan Quoted

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Walter Copan
Walter Copan Director NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) plans to update legislation that mandates companies, universities and non-profit organizations to disclose their inventions that were created through federal investments.

NIST said Tuesday that it is seeking public input on potential revisions to the Bayh-Dole Act or the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act of 1980. The updates result from collaborations under NIST’s 2018 Return on Investment Initiative.

According to NIST, the revisions will help non-government entities retain rights to inventions while incentiivizing inventors “in the interests of economic vitality and for the public good.”

Changes include a new requirement for agencies to report progress on the Bayh-Dole Act’s implementation as well as additional information on the federal royalties collection process. The updated legislation will also include provisions on modified licensing appeals procedures.

Walter Copan, director of NIST, said the updates serve as a culmination of extensive stakeholder engagement and will help lay the foundation for U.S. technology transfer, entrepreneurship and innovation.

The federal government allocates over $150 billion for research and development per year, NIST noted. Comments on the updated legislation are due on April 5.