Legislation: The Bayh-Dole | Biotech Industry Incentives Act
December 12,1980


This legislation, commonly referred to as the Bayh-Dole Act after its two main sponsors, Birch Bayh (D-IN) and Bob Dole, made dramatic changes to the way new technologies were brought into the marketplace. Before, only a small percentage of patents held by the federal government were ever commercially licensed, providing no incentive for further research and thereby hindering future developments. Passage of the Bayh-Dole Act granted patent rights to the entity which developed it, which were often federally-supported colleges and universities. The act allowed non-profit entities to generate licensing revenue, while also serving to further stimulate U.S. technological innovation.