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Bayh-Dole Act

UD Requirements

In 1980, Congress enacted the Bayh-Dole Act, permitting the University to own inventions and patents made on federal grants.

The University must report it’s inventions and may elect to own and promote them.

The University has the right to license and commercialize inventions and intellectual property, subject to certain retained government purpose rights.

The University has all new faculty sign a "reminder letter" confirming obligations.

To report an invention, see these policies and forms and contact the Intellectual Property Office within the Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships for more information.

When the U.S. Congress passed P. L. 96-517, the Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act, more commonly known as the "Bayh-Dole Act," in 1980, a uniform federal patent policy was established, clearly stating that small businesses and non-profit organizations, including universities, could retain ownership of inventions made under federally sponsored research.

In return, the University of Delaware is expected to file for patent protection on inventions and then promote the licensing of those patents by the commercial sector, ensuring the outflow of UD discoveries and technologies from our labs to the marketplace.

Additional Resources

Bayh-Dole Act.
Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

Technology Transfer:
Administration of the Bayh-Dole Act
by Research Universities.

Government Accounting Office. 1998.

The Bayh-Dole Act: A Guide to the Law and Implementing Regulations.
Council on Governmental Relations. 1999.

A "20-20" View of Invention Reporting to the National Institutes of Health.
National Institutes of Health. 1995.

Named after the senators who cosponsored it, Birch Bayh of Indiana and Robert Dole of Kansas, the Bayh-Dole Act and its subsequent amendments provide the basis for current university technology transfer practices. The landmark legislation has led to a more rapid transformation of university research into marketable products and technologies of use by and of benefit to society, as well as the launching of new industries and start-up companies to pursue the development of novel university inventions.

At the University of Delaware, the chief goal of the Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships is to encourage and enable innovation and entrepreneurship; grow, utilize and leverage the University’s knowledge-based assets; and create and capture new economic and community benefits.

If you are a UD researcher with an invention to report, please review these policies and forms and contact Intellectual Property and Compliance within the Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships for more information.