Another misstatement of Bayh-Dole that could use an update

Here is another misstatement of Bayh-Dole in the wild, in a history of the Stanford OTL:

Another significant event took place in 1980, when the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 96-517, the Bayh-Dole Act, which provided that rights to inventions resulting from government-sponsored research at universities would be automatically allocated to the universities. Previously, it had been necessary to petition each sponsoring agency, and while many such petitions were granted, there often were considerable delays that extended beyond patent filing deadlines, preventing many invention disclosures from being licensed.

I suppose if folks at Stanford really believed this sort of thing (credo, quia absurdum est), then they would be motivated to take it all the way to the Supreme Court, which it turns out they did.  The Supreme Court made clear that Bayh-Dole did not vest invention ownership with universities:  rights were not “automatically allocated to the universities.”   Perhaps someone at Stanford ought to make an annotation that this part of the history of Stanford might be better phrased:  “…which university licensing offices such as the Stanford OTL believed (wrongly as it turned out) that rights to inventions . . .would be automatically allocated to the universities.”  That would be accurate.  But it would take some real courage to make the revision.

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