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Prominent Bayh-Dole Supporter Passes Away

A prominent Bayh-Dole supporter, Betsy Ancker-Johnson (1927-2020) has recently passed away. Betsy was a strong supporter of the patent system and chaired the Interagency Committee on patent policy where she was an advocate for the pre Bayh-Dole “Institutional Patents Agreements” IPA. This gave patent ownership to universities with technology transfer capabilities. Under Betsy’s leadership the IPA program was extended from the National Institutes of Health for all agencies to use.

Betsy was also a strong supporter of the Bayh-Dole Act in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Bayh-Dole Act has empowered universities, small businesses, and nonprofits that have received federal grants to retain ownership of any patented inventions – and license those patents to private firms, who then turn promising ideas into real-life products that improve people’s lives. Thanks to Bayh-Dole, the public and private sectors have worked together to translate basic scientific research into life-saving drugs and medical devices, internet and GPS technologies, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and countless other innovations.

To learn more about Betsy and read her obituary, please visit: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/freep/obituary.aspx?n=betsy-ancker-johnson&pid=196478978.