We write a lot about how to protect intellectual property (IP) during the contract bidding and negotiation process, but you can’t let your IP protection guard down once the contract is signed. Thanks to the Bayh-Dole Act, 35U.S.C. §§ 200-212 (and related executive orders), a contractor can obtain patents on and maintain full patent rights to “any invention of the contractor conceived or first actually reduced to practice in the performance of work under” a government contract, subject to a license to the government. 35 U.S.C. §201(e).
Dig through the legalese, and this is great news for all government contractors. You can not only meet the terms of your contract, but you can also commercialize and make money on your invention. Sounds great, right? But here’s the catch: If you don’t disclose the invention to the government, the government can grab full patent rights for itself. [Read more…] about How to Protect Your Patent Rights in Government Funded Inventions