Policy and Legal

Policy and Legal

NAM: Withdraw Administration March-in Framework Now

The Biden administration’s proposed “march-in” framework would be devastating for American innovation and competitiveness and must be withdrawn immediately, according to the NAM.

What’s going on: In December, the administration issued proposed guidelines to enable the government to “march in” and seize manufacturers’ patents if their products were developed in any part with federal dollars.

  • But the move—which a bipartisan group of 28 legislators opposed in a letter to the White House last week—would be fundamentally ruinous to manufacturing in the U.S., according to the NAM.
  • “Undermining America’s world-leading patent system is a recipe for reduced innovation and significant economic damage, with a disproportionate impact on small manufacturers,” said NAM Vice President of Domestic Policy Charles Crain.

Price controls: The proposal is tantamount to government price controls, the NAM said.

  • “If finalized, this threat to innovation would for the first time enable the government to set price controls on products that incorporate [intellectual property] from early-stage federally funded research.”
  • “Manufacturers that do not comply with the proposal’s arbitrary and uncertain pricing criteria could see the government march in, seize their IP and license it to a competitor.”

Undoing advancements: Prior to the 1980 enactment of the Bayh-Dole Act, which allowed for the commercialization of federally funded research, groundbreaking discoveries “often remained stuck in the lab, as private-sector entrepreneurs and investors were unwilling to license innovative technologies given the uncertain path to commercialization,” the NAM said.

  • “Limiting manufacturers’ ability to commercialize groundbreaking innovation means that early-stage research will remain on the shelf in university labs.”
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