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The Success of Bayh-Dole

Congress passed the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980 to incentivize the private sector to make the investments needed to translate discoveries (i.e., inventions) arising from government-funded research into useful commercial products. Specifically, it allows grant recipients, such as universities, to hold the title to the patents covering such discoveries, enabling them to license the patents and right to use those discoveries to private sector partners who can then commercialize them.