• Nonprofit institutions, including universities, and small businesses may retain title to innovations developed under federally funded research programs.
• Universities are encouraged to collaborate with commercial enterprises to promote the use of inventions arising from federal funding.
• Universities must file patents on inventions they elect to own.
• Universities must give licensing preference to small businesses.
• The government retains a nonexclusive license to practice the patent throughout the world.
• In cases of nonperformance, such as if a funding recipient fails to make sufficient progress in applying a "subject invention in field of use," the government retains march-in rights to license the technology to subsequent applicants.
Before 1980, fewer than 250 patents were issued to U.S. universities each year and discoveries were seldom commercialized for the public's benefit. In contrast, in FY 2002, AUTM members reported that 4,673 new license agreements were signed. Between FY 1991 and FY 2002, annual invention disclosures increased nearly 250 percent (to 15,573), new patents filed increased more than 310 percent (to 7,741) and new licenses and options executed increased more than 365 percent (to 4,673). In FY 2002, AUTM members reported 569 new product introductions, and nearly 23 percent of their 26,086 active license agreements were associated with product sales by their licensees—dramatic confirmation that AUTM member licensees are successfully producing products covered by the license agreements described in this survey.
The current system is the result of the two amendments to the Patent Law. The first, in 1993 granted PROs (public research organizations) the legal basis to own the IP generated by their research. The second in 2000 recognised the legal status of researchers to possess IP rights of their research through contracts with their PROs. The new ownership policy and related government measures, including the exemption of business tax and business income tax for technology transfer activities, encouraging the setup of technology transfer offices in universities and PROs, and the establishment of national technology centres, etc., resulted in increased technology transfer. However, due to a number of factors, including the weak awareness of IP and the lack of competence of IP management, the amount of intellectual property protected by universities and PROs remained small in both quantitative and qualitative terms, and the pace of institutional and capacity building fell behind the need for the commercialisation of public research.As Zhang Jingan of China's Ministry of Science and Technology pointed out, further improving and reinforcing IPR policies will remain a focus of the government's efforts aimed at improving the innovation environment, establishing new innovation mechanisms and upgrading national innovation capability.
Funding decisions should be made more quickly and efforts should be made to synchronise national decisions as much as possible. Secondly, the policies and mechanisms in each country for managing the relationship between Eureka and national programmes should be made more transparent and available to all current and potential ITEA participants.
• better integrating features such as an RSS reader,
• expanding its capabilities beyond its current status as a tool dependent on other services, and
• forming a publishing community encompassing users from home videographers to professional filmmakers seeking distribution for their work.