Intellect and the law

These laws and regulations govern the ownership of intellectual property in federal research contracts:

Bayh-Dole Act: This law went into effect in 1980 and creates a uniform patent policy for inventions and ideas coming out of federally sponsored research by small businesses, universities and nonprofit organizations.

It has been extended over the years to include large businesses and contractors at government-owned laboratories. It allows contractors to retain the title to and profits from their inventions. In return, the government retains royalty-free licenses to use the inventions whenever needed.

"Other transaction" authority: Congress granted temporary authority in 1989 to allow the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to step outside standard contracting regulation requirements for its research projects.

Lawmakers made it a standard part of the Defense Department's authority in the fiscal 1994 National Defense Authorization Act, and it has since been extended to several civilian agencies, including NASA and the Energy Department.

Featured

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

  • Cybersecurity
    Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff)

    Mayorkas announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce

    The Homeland Security secretary announced a series of focused efforts to address issues around ransomware, critical infrastructure and the agency's workforce that will all be launched in the coming weeks.

Stay Connected