Today, a letter signed by a coalition of top academics opposing the Biden Administration’s efforts to exercise march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 was sent to the White House. Signed by academics in fields including law, economic policy and sciences, the letter warns the Biden Administration that its efforts to drive down drug pricing by seizing patent rights will “undermine fundamental principles that have made the American IP system the golden standard for supporting domestic innovation.” A growing topic during recent Congressional debates, march-in rights under Bayh-Dole took on a new focus in early December when the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Department of Commerce released a draft framework of factors that federal agencies should consider for the exercise of authority codified at 35 U.S.C. § 203 that would compel patent owners holding rights to federally-funded inventions to license those rights to “responsible applicants.”

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