Policy and Legal

Policy and Legal

“March-In” Rights Would Harm Manufacturing, Economy

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So-called “march-in” rights that would enable the federal government to seize manufacturers’ intellectual property are “a major threat to manufacturers in America,” according to a new seven-figure ad campaign launched by the NAM.

What’s going on: Last month, the Biden administration issued a proposal that would allow the government to take over privately held patents if those patents had been developed in part with federal research dollars.

The problem: Undermining companies’ IP rights would roll back the progress made under the Bayh-Dole Act, which allowed for commercialization of federally funded research and “unlocked all the inventions and discoveries that had been made in laboratories throughout the United States with the help of taxpayers’ money,” according to a recent op-ed in The Hill.

  • Because the government is “inviting march-in petitions on every patented technology that benefited from even modest federal grants,” the proposal could “decimate American innovation [and] … stifle investment in climate change, sustainable agriculture, advanced computing, energy, medicines” and more, according to the op-ed writers, two former undersecretaries of commerce for intellectual property.
  • In addition, the proposal is “putting American jobs at risk,” according to the NAM’s new ad.

The NAM says: “This radical new proposal is a major threat to manufacturers in America and counter to the president’s goals of growing the sector,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said.

  • “Empowering the government to march in and seize the rights to private-sector patents and technologies threatens American innovation and R&D, putting millions of well-paying manufacturing jobs at risk. Policymakers must protect manufacturers’ intellectual property rights and stop this government overreach.”
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