Alternatives to March-In Rights

David S. Bloch · 18 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. 2

Abstract

The Bayh-Dole Act is an inspired piece of legislation. But its “march-in” provisions are too often a source of confusion and fear for private-sector companies that want to do business with the US government—despite the fact that the government has never exercised its march-in rights. Are there alternatives to march-in rights that would effectively serve the government’s public policy needs while eliminating this perceived threat to private intellectual property rights? This Article describes march-in rights in theory and practice, and then weighs several alternatives to traditional Bayh-Dole march-in rights.