Conservatives’ Letter to U.S. Senate Says Preserve Bayh-Dole

September 15, 2017

A group of conservative organizations has written the U.S. Senate to flag “possible amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act that would undermine the Bayh-Dole Act...”


The letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the proposals would “jeopardize the certainty of intellectual property rights and exclusive licensing by private-sector entities that take on the great costs and significant risk of commercializing Defense Department-funded research when these private firms succeed at turning a pharmaceutical discovery into a viable medication.”


The Senate is debating the NDAA legislation, which generally authorizes DOD programs, policy and spending levels for fiscal year 2018. The House version of this bill was passed July 14, without corresponding antipatent provisions.


Though aimed at certain pharmaceutical products, Sens. Angus King’s and Bernie Sanders’ potential amendments would throw the key to the Bayh-Dole Act’s success —certainty and exclusivity of the intellectual property associated with technology transfer in order to agree to attempt commercialization in the first place — into disarray beyond a single product or sector, the signatories contend.


Signing this letter are Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund, American Conservative Union, Conservatives for Property Rights ... the Committee for Justice, American Business Defense Council and Christian Coalition of America.


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