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NIST Director prioritizing transfer law, process updates

January 11, 2018

The American Institute of Physics reports that National Institute of Standards and Technology Director Walter Copan expressed interest in reviewing the Bayh-Dole and Stevenson-Wydler acts for possible revisions. Both pieces of legislation were passed in 1980 to facilitate the transfer of discoveries from the public to the private sector. Copan did not indicate specific changes but mentioned conflicts between federal and state law as a problem.

Recent legislation and critics of Bayh-Dole, which The Economist once lauded as “inspired,” have emphasized timely disclosure, suggested strengthening march-in rights and speeding up the process overall. Copan is also planning a “One NIST” initiative to expand the agency’s role in federal tech transfer with a goal of streamlining public-private partnerships, but details on these efforts are not yet available. 

nist, policy