Availability of Research results, Bayh-Doyle Act

8.2 Availability of Research Results: Publications, Intellectual Property Rights, and Sharing Research Resources

It is NIH policy that the results and accomplishments of the activities that it funds should be made available to the public. PD/PIs and recipient organizations are expected to make the results and accomplishments of their activities available to the research community and to the public at large. (See also Availability and Confidentiality of Information-Confidentiality of Information-Access to Research Data in Part I for policies related to providing access to certain research data at public request.) If the outcomes of the research result in inventions, the provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, as implemented in 37 CFR Part 401, apply.

As long as recipients abide by the provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act, as amended by the Technology Transfer Commercialization Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-404), and 37 CFR Part 401, they have the right to retain title to any invention conceived or first actually reduced to practice using NIH grant funds. The principal objectives of these laws and the implementing regulation are to promote commercialization of federally funded inventions, while ensuring that inventions are used in a manner that promotes free competition and enterprise without unduly encumbering future research and discovery.

The regulation requires the recipient to use patent and licensing processes to transfer grant-supported technology to industry for development. Alternatively, unpatented research products or resources "research tools" may be made available through licensing to vendors or other investigators. Sharing of copyrightable outcomes of research may be in the form of journal articles or other publications.

The importance of each of these outcomes of funded research is reflected in the specific policies pertaining to rights in data, sharing of research data and unique research resources, and inventions and patents described in the following subsections.