THE WHITE HOUSE|
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release November 1, 2000
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Today I signed into law H.R. 209, the "Technology Transfer
Commercialization Act of 2000."In 1986, the Congress passed the Federal Technology Transfer Act
(FTTA). That Act built upon the basic premise of the earlier
Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act and the Bayh-Dole Act,
namely, that Federal laboratories create technologies that businesses
may desire to develop commercially as a source of competitive advantage.
The FTTA established new partnering policies for Government laboratories
in the earliest stages of research through mechanisms such as the
Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA). Since that
time, American taxpayers have seen how Government-owned innovations can
be brought into the marketplace to create consumer products, thereby
improving our quality of life and enhancing our international
The Act will help ensure that the benefits of Federal research
translate into new products and opportunities for the American public.
It simplifies the process of licensing Government-owned inventions to
the private sector by allowing the licensing of preexisting inventions
that arise under CRADAs so that the private sector partner has access to
the relevant technology. The Act also authorizes Federal agencies to
acquire rights in related privately owned inventions, so as to create a
more effective portfolio for licensing.
The Act will remove procedural obstacles to technology transfer and
directs agencies to consider the increasingly international environment
of innovation. It recognizes that, in many cases, the necessary period
for notice by a Federal agency of its intent to grant exclusive licenses
can be shortened using both traditional and electronic means for
providing the notice. In making decisions about appropriate notice
periods, Federal agencies must continue to balance the need for
promptness against the fundamental statutory purpose of ensuring that
these inventions are used in a way that benefits the public. I expect
that individual agencies will use their discretion responsibly in
setting the period for comment on proposed exclusive licenses and will
bear in mind that the 15-day period provided in this Act is a minimum
requirement that may not be appropriate in all situations.
I fully support the effort, under the policy leadership of the
Department of Commerce, to improve the transfer of valuable technology
from Federal laboratories to the private sector.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE,
November 1, 2000.
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