Technology Transfer: Number and Characteristics of Inventions Licensed by Six Federal Agencies.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC RESOURCES COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIV
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The federal government, a major sponsor of research and development, provided about 70 billion in funding for this purpose in fiscal year 1998. Federal funds are used to support both intramurar programs that involve government employees working in government facilities and extramural programs that are carried out by nonfederal organizations through contracts and grants. In some cases, federally sponsored research leads to the creation of new products and processes that can be patented and commercialized. Generally, when a federal employee creates an invention within the scope of his or her employment, the applicable agency retains title, may license the invention to third parties, and may receive royalties under the license. When a contractor or grantee creates the invention, however, the contractor or grantee generally is allowed to take title to, license, and receive royalties on the invention. You requested that we provide statistical information on the licensing of government-owned inventions created under federally funded research projects. This report provides information on 1 government-owned inventions licensed by six federal agencies during fiscal years 1996 through 1998, including the royalties received during that period, and the total number of active licenses these agencies had as of October 1, 1998 2 whether the licenses were exclusive or nonexclusive 3 whether the licensees were small businesses, individuals, large businesses, or nonprofit organizations and 4 whether the licensees were foreign or domestic.
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