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Inventions act helped to pave way for growth

from Columbia Daily Tribune

Two months ago, Jake Halliday referenced his grandson, Liam. Last month, Halliday gave equal time to his granddaughter, Ella. And then he was out of grandchildren. Or so he thought. Eli arrived three weeks ago, and Danny bounced onto the scene soon after. All four likely will grow up in Columbia, Mo. The city, and the opportunities for his grandchildren, will change markedly by the time they reach adulthood, in large part because of an act of Congress 30 years ago. The Bayh-Dole Act, sponsored by former U.S. Sens. Birch Bayh of Indiana and Bob Dole of Kansas, turned the laws dealing with the ownership of inventions upside down. Back then, if the government funded research, the government owned the resulting inventions. But the return on investment was dismal. Less than 5 percent of government-owned patents ever were licensed. more

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