Intellectual Property: Federal Agency Efforts in Transferring and Reporting New Technology

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The federal government is a primary sponsor of research conducted in the United States, expending during fiscal year 2001 $19.4 billion for research performed by federal employees and $62.2 billion for research conducted under contracts and grants. Some of this research leads to the development of technology that can be patented, licensed, and made available to the public through the introduction of new products and processes. In the past, however, there have been concerns that new technologies developed under federal research projects were not being properly ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. October 31, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The federal government is a primary sponsor of research conducted in the United States, expending during fiscal year 2001 $19.4 billion for research performed by federal employees and $62.2 billion for research conducted under contracts and grants. Some of this research leads to the development of technology that can be patented, licensed, and made available to the public through the introduction of new products and processes. In the past, however, there have been concerns that new technologies developed under federal research projects were not being properly translated into practical use. In response, Congress has made attempts through legislation over the past two decades to ensure that federally sponsored inventions were being transferred to the private sector where they could be commercialized. Federal agencies are identifying, patenting, and licensing inventions created in their own facilities through technology transfer programs that vary in design, approach, and measurable output. With respect to design, some agencies have centralized technology transfer programs, while others have decentralized programs, and still others have components of both. From an approach stand point, the agencies differ on what they will patent and the types of licensing arrangements they will enter. Perhaps the greatest diversity among the agencies is in their output based on statistics provided by the nine federal agencies with internal research budgets of at least $500 million in fiscal year 2001. In total, these agencies reported 3,676 new inventions, 1,585 patents issued, and $74.5 million in licensing revenues during fiscal year 2001. Federal agencies did not fully comply with the requirement of the Technology Transfer Commercialization Act of 2000 that they submit reports on their technology transfer activities to the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Commerce as a part of their fiscal year 2003 budget requests. Although four of five agencies reviewed for GAO's 1999 report have taken some steps to improve contractor and grantee compliance with reporting requirements under the Bayh-Dole Act, these efforts have not addressed underlying problems--such as duplication in reporting requirements--GAO noted in that report. Agency officials said that they had not been able to standardize, improve, and streamline the reporting process itself because, as GAO noted in the 1999 report, this would require congressional action."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • October 31, 2002

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Intellectual Property: Federal Agency Efforts in Transferring and Reporting New Technology, report, October 31, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293493/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.