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COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
OLIN E. TEAGUE, Texas, Chairman KEN HECHLER, West Virginia
CHARLES A. MOSHER, Ohio THOMAS N. DOWNING, Virginia
ALPHONZO BELL, California DON FUQUA, Florida
JOHN JARMAN, Oklahoma JAMES W. SYMINGTON, Missouri
JOHN W. WYDLER, New York WALTER FLOWERS, Alabama
LARRY WINN, JR., Florida ROBERT A. ROE, New Jersey
LOUIS FREY, JR., Florida MIKE MCCORMACK, Washington
BARRY M. GOLDWATER, JR., California GEORGE E. BROWN, JR., California MARVIN L. ESCH, Michigan DALE MILFORD, Texas
JOHN B. CONLAN, Arizona RAY THORNTON, Arkansas
GARY A. MYERS, Pennsylvania
DAVID F. EMERY, Maine
JOHN L. SWIGERT, Jr., Executive Director
PHILIP B. YEAGER, Counsel
ROBERT C. KETCHAM, Counsel
REGINA A. Davis, Chief Clerk
SUBCOMMITTEE ON DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL
SCIENTIFIC PLANNING AND ANALYSIS
RAY THORNTON, Arkansas, Chairman ROBERT A. ROE, New Jersey
JOHN B. CONLAN, Arizona DALE MILFORD, Texas
JOHN JARMAN, Oklahoma
GARY A. MYERS, Pennsylvania
DARCIA D. BRACKEN, Science Consultant
September 23, 1976:
GOVERNMENT PATENT POLICY
(The Ownership of Inventions Resulting From Federally
Funded Research and Development)
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 1976
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9 a.m., in room 2325. Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Ray Thornton, chairman of the subcommittee, presiding.
Mr. THORNTON. On June 3, 1975, the subcommittee on Domestic and International Scientific Planning and Analysis began its first series of hearings pursuant to the new Special Oversight function reflecting an increasing mood in Congress to bring longer-range planning, coordination, and responsible oversight to its activities. The first series of hearings undertaken by the DISPA Subcommittee focused on the Federal research and development program. From the outset, we have recognized that our special oversight function must be exercised so as to complement and not displace the oversight responsibilities of committees with principal jurisdiction. Nevertheless, our task is a broad and challenging one.
If I may repeat my views expressed on the opening day of that series of hearings, it is particularly challenging because
of the special nature of our country's scientific and technological enterprise. On one hand, the national research and development effort is a delicate and diverse enterprise. It involves thousands of talented scientists, engineers, and administrators in America's universities, industry, and Government laboratories. While there is unquestionably a need to exercise improved congressional oversight in this entire field, this oversight must be done with care so that the result is improvement not disruption.
Today, as we begin our final series of hearings for this legislative year, it seems appropriate that our focus is on one of the aspects of a successful Federal research and development program: Government Patent Policy-The Ownership of Inventions Resulting From Federally Funded Research and Development. The patent policies of the various agencies can have significant impact on the development of inventions and the technological advances of our Nation.
It has been brought to the attention of our subcommittee in hearings ranging from mechanisms for the intergovernmental exchange
of R. & D. results to international cooperation in energy research and development that there is no single Government patent policy. Congress is given authority to develop patent policy by the Constitutions directive in article I, section 8. “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective writings and discoveries.” Notwithstanding that directive, the Federal Government has developed patent policies primarily on an agency-by-agency basis resulting in some 20 different approaches." A Presidential memorandum and statement of Government patent policy issued in 1971 does provide some cohesion. The implications of patent policies developed in this way is what our subcommittee is interested in determining.” I should note the charge given to the newly formed Office of Science and Technology Policy that: Federal patent policies should be developed, based on uniform principles, which have as their objective the preservation of incentives for technological innovation and the application of procedures which will continue to assure the full use of beneficial technology to serve the public. Thus the timeliness of our current efforts. It is appropriate for this subcommittee, established with special oversight responsibility for analysis and advanced planning studies on all nonmilitary research and development, to begin to bring together the various sources of knowledge and experience in this area. Today we will hear from two witnesses with extensive experience in the Government patent law area. Dr. Howard I. Forman, currently Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Product Standards, has worked for many years in both a private and public capacity on patent policy and resulting licensing procedures. Mr. Raymond J. Woodrow has an extensive background in overall research and more specificall in the area of patent policies related to research funded by the }. eral Government at universities. He is currently serving as president of the Society of University Patent Administrators. During the continuation of this series of hearings, we will hear from representatives from both the private industry sector and Government agencies. At the conclusion of our 5 days we hope to have a well-rounded perspective on Government patent policy when inventions result from federally funded research and development. Our first witness this morning is Dr. Howard I. Forman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Product Standards, Department of Commerce. Dr. Forman, we are very pleased to have you with us and we would like to ask you to make your presentation at this time. [A biographical sketch of Dr. Forman follows:]
DR. HowARD I. ForMAN
I hold the degrees of B.S. in Chemistry from St. Joseph's College. LL.B. from Temple University School of Law, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Business and
1 Statutory Patent Provisions of Individual Departments and Agencies are frequently referred to in this series of hearings. Examples of patent cases appear in Background Materials on Government Patent Policies—The Ownership of Inventions Resulting From Federally Funded Research and Development: Volume I—Presidential Statements, Executive Orders and Statutory Provisions (Committee Print, Serial MM, pp. 61–85, Aug. 1976. Hereinafter referred to as Committee Print Background Papers, Volume I.
* Presidential Memorandum and Statement of Government Patent Policy Issued on August 23, 1976 appears in Committee Print, Background Papers, Volume I, pp. 11–24.