The Bayh-Dole Act became federal law in 1980. It mandates that non-profit institutions own and patent intellectual property that is discovered through government research funding. These inventions are offered for license for commercial development, while the federal government retains a nonexclusive, irrevocable license. Prior to the acceptance of this Act, fewer than 250 US patents were assigned to non-profit institutions each year. Since the passing of the Act, ten times as many patents have been assigned to universities and other non-profit institutions.

Health Research, Inc. (HRI) is designated by the Department of Health to manage its technology transfer program, including the management of patent expenses and receipt and disbursement of royalty income. The Wadsworth Center’s Office of Research & Technology works closely with investigators and HRI to identify and manage Intellectual Property. 

Through its Wadsworth Intellectual Property Evaluation Committee (WIPEC) the Office of Research & Technology provides an initial assessment of the science involved in the invention and makes a recommendation to the HRI Technology Transfer Office.

HRI then works with the inventor to develop a market summary, performs additional marketability assessments, obtains a patentability opinion from its patent counsel, and makes a recommendation to the HRI Internal Practices Review Committee as to whether a patent or other protection should be pursued.

The HRI Internal Practices Review Committee then reviews the invention and makes recommendations to the Commissioner of Health. Upon approval from the Commissioner, the Office of the State Comptroller is notified.

Working closely with the inventor(s), HRI initiates a marketing campaign to identify suitable commercial partners. Any income generated is first used to offset the costs of patent attorneys, filing fees, etc. The remainder is shared equally between HRI and the inventors.