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Gerald D. O'Brien, Acting Chairman
Assistant Commissioner
U. S. Patent Office

Wilfred E. Johnson

Edwin M. Zimmerman Commissioner

Assistant Attorney General U. S. Atomic Energy Commission

for Antitrust

Department of Justice
John M. Mal.ioy
Deputy Assistant Secretary

Paul G. Dembling of Defense (Procurement)

General Counsel Department of Defense

National Aeronautics and

Space Administration
Charles B. Brown
Special Assistant for Patent Policy Dr. Frederick R. Senti
Department of Health, Education Deputy Administrator
and Welfare

Agricultural Research Service

Department of Agriculture
Ernest.S. Cohen
Assistant Solicitor

R. Tenney Johnson
Branch of Patents

Deputy General Counsel Department of the Interior

Department of Transportation

William J. Hoff
General Counsel
National Science Foundation

Dr. Eugene M. Braderman
Deputy Assistant Secretary

for Commercial Affairs

and Business Activities Department of State

David Z. Beckler (Observer)
Assistant to the Director
Office of Science and


James E. Denny, Executive Secretary
Office of Assistant General Counsel

for Patent Matters


In December of 1965. the Federal Council for Science and Technology established the Committee on Government Patent Policy for the purpose of assessing how the Presidential Memorandum and Statement of Government Patent Policy had worked in practice, and to acquire and analyze additional information that would contribute to the reaffirmation or modification of the Policy, and to the identification of principles underlying sound legislation. In undertaking this assignment, the Committee contracted with Harbridge Hou se, Inc. of Boston, Massachusetts, to collect and analyze as much information and data as possible which would provide a better understanding of the effects of alterna te patent policies on (1) achieving expeditious development and civilian utilization of government-financed inventions, (2) obtaining the cooperation of industry in assisting the Government in its research and development efforts, and (3) competition in commercial markets.

The contract effort was divided into two general phases. The first was the collection and analysis of all available information and data regarding the circumstances surrounding the commercial utilization, or failure to utilize, a large sample of patented invention derived from government sponsorship. In the second phase, the contractor conducted in-depth studies on selected cases, primarily for the purpose of obtaining a better understand ing and assessing the accuracy of the data to be gathered under the first phase. Through this study effort, Harbridge House obtained the basic da ta on more than 2,000 government-sponsored patents, and conducted over 200 in-depth studies of specific inventions, government contractors, and contracting situations to assess the effects of government patent policy.

In general, the Committee finds that the study results pro-
vide no basis for changing the basic principles of the
Presidential Policy, although they do indicate a few areas
where modification in the criteria would be appropriate.
In particular, the study confirms the statement in the
Presidential Policy that--

"... a single pre sumption of ownership
does not provide a satisfactory basis for government-
wide policy on the allocation of rights to inven-

that might be found surrounding an invention or a contracting situation which affect the utilization, participation, and competition issues, demonstrated that a single "title" or "license" policy would not be in the public interest, whether applied to a government-wide policy or to the policy of any particular agency. The study results indicated that to increase participation and utilization, government patent policy must accommodate itself to factors other than patent rights that have a great influence on these goals--for example, the market potential of an invention, the organizational and commercial structure of government contractors, the development and promotional activities of the government agencies, and the state of development of the invention. By taking these factors into consideration, the data suggests that the allocation of patent rights can have an influence on the three policy objectives.

The Committee concludes that rights to inventions made under government contracts, where not otherwise required by statute, should be allocated in accordance with a flexible, governmentwide policy which follows the basic principles and criteria of the October 1963 Presidential Policy Statement. This conclusion is based on the fact that:

(1) The Presidential Policy was based on years of actual operating experience under various policy criteria;

(2) Experience under the Policy to date indicates that it has been effective in bringing about a greater degree of consistency in the patent policies and practices of the agencies, and has provided a greater degree of protection of. the public interest; and

(3) The Harbridge House study results and the operating experience of the government agencies indicate that the principles underlying the Presidential Policy, and, with minor exceptions, the criteria established by this Policy for allocating patent rights

take into consideration the several factors found
to influence utilization of invention, participa-
tion by industry, and commercial competition in
a manner which balances the overall interests of
the public.

provides the necessary operational flexibility
needed by the agencies to accomplish the objec-

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