A contract between Regeneron and Advanced Technology International (ATI) involving $450 million in taxpayer funding uses the “Other Transactions Authority” or OTA, to avoid Bayh-Dole safeguards on patent rights. ATI is entering into purchase agreements on behalf of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for technologies related to COVID-19.
The Regeneron-ATI contract narrows the public’s rights in the patents in important areas. For example, 7.2.a, states, the government’s license to use a patented invention it funded “does not include the right to use or allow others to use the Subject Invention for commercial purposes.” The agreement does include a compulsory licensing provision, in 7.2.h, which has different and considerably narrower grounds than the Bayh-Dole Act. Notably, the compulsory licensing is limited to cases where Regeneron is “unwilling or unable to manufacture or supply” products, without regard to the Bayh-Dole condition regarding making benefits of inventions “available to the public on reasonable terms.” The agreement also limits to the compulsory licensing option to a public health emergency, a limitation not found in the Bayh-Dole Act.
This is a massive contract, with very limited public rights in inventions it has funded, compared to the standard government rights in patents set out in the Bayh-Dole Act.
MCDC BASE AGREEMENT NO.: 2020-504
PROJECT TITLE: MCDC2008-005; Large-Scale Manufacturing of Antibodies Directed to SARS-CoV-2
PARTIES: Advanced Technology International (“MCDC CMF”) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Project Agreement Holder”)
This Project Agreement is awarded under the authority of MCDC Base Agreement No. 2020-504, and herein incorporates all the terms and conditions thereof, as such terms and conditions are modified by the terms of the Statement Of Work attached hereto as Exhibit A (the “Statement of Work” or “SOW”). The parties agree that, to the extent any terms or conditions of the Statement of Work conflict with the terms and conditions of MCDC Base Agreement No. 2020-504, the terms and conditions of the Statement of Work shall apply and take precedence.
. . .
4.TOTAL FIRM FIXED PRICE
The total firm fixed price for the services to be provided by the Project Agreement Holder is as follows:
Total Firm Fixed Price $450,262,000
7.2 PATENT RIGHTS
a.Allocation of Principal Rights
The parties agree that the Bayh-Dole statute does not apply to this Project Agreement. Ownership of inventions Made in the performance of this Project Agreement shall follow inventorship, and inventorship shall be determined in accordance with United States patent laws. With respect to any Subject Invention Made (in whole or in part) by or on behalf of Regeneron, unless Regeneron shall have notified the Government (in accordance with Subparagraph b. below) that Regeneron does not intend to properly disclose and elect title to a Subject Invention, Regeneron shall retain the entire right, title, and interest throughout the world to such Subject Invention, and the Government shall have a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license to practice or have practiced on behalf of the United States the Subject Invention throughout the world. This license does not include the right to use or allow others to use the Subject Invention for commercial purposes. If Regeneron does not properly disclose and elect title to any such Subject Invention (in
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accordance with Subparagraph b. below), then the Government may exercise its rights to seek ownership of such Subject Invention, pursuant to clause 7.2.c. below.
b.Invention Disclosure, Election of Title, and Filing of Patent Application
i.Regeneron shall disclose in writing each Subject Invention to the OTTR within 12 months after the inventor discloses it in writing to Regeneron personnel responsible for patent matters. The disclosure shall identify the inventor(s) and this Project Agreement under which the Subject Invention was made. It shall be sufficiently complete in technical detail to convey a clear understanding of the Subject Invention. The disclosure shall also identify any publication, on sale (i.e., sale or offer for sale), or public use of the Subject Invention, or whether a manuscript describing the Subject Invention has been submitted for publication and, if so, whether it has been accepted for publication. In addition, after disclosure to the Government funding agency (HHS/BARDA), Regeneron shall promptly notify the OTTR of the acceptance of any manuscript describing the Subject Invention for publication and any on sale or public use.
ii.Regeneron shall elect in writing whether or not to retain ownership of any Subject Invention by notifying the OTTR within 2 years of disclosure to the Government funding agency. However, in any case where publication, on sale, or public use has initiated the 1-year statutory period during which valid patent protection can be obtained in the United States, the period for election of title may be shortened by the agency to a date that is no more than 60 calendar days prior to the end of the statutory period.
iii.Regeneron shall file either a provisional or a non-provisional patent application for an elected Subject Invention within 1 year after election of title. However, in any case where a publication, on sale, or public use has initiated the 1-year statutory period during which valid patent protection can be obtained in the United States, Regeneron shall file the application prior to the end of that statutory period. If Regeneron files an initial provisional application, it shall file a non-provisional application within 10 months of the filing of the initial provisional application. Regeneron shall include a Government Support Clause (GSC) within the specification of any United States patent applications and any patent issuing thereon covering a subject invention.
iv.Regeneron may request extensions of time for disclosure, election, or filing under subparagraphs (b)(i), (b)(ii) and (b)(iii) of this clause. An extension of time for each deadline, may be granted at the discretion of the Government funding agency.
v.If Regeneron determines that it does not intend to elect to retain title to any such Subject Invention, Regeneron shall notify the Government, in writing, within two (2) years of disclosure to the Government. However, in any case where publication, sale, or public use has initiated the one (1)-year statutory
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period wherein valid patent protection can still be obtained in the United States, the period for such notice may be shortened by the Government to a date that is no more than sixty (60) calendar days prior to the end of the statutory period.
c.Conditions When the Government May Obtain Title
Upon the Government’s written request, Regeneron shall convey title to any Subject Invention to the Government funding agency if Regeneron fails to disclose the Subject Invention or elects not to retain title to the Subject Invention within the times specified in Subparagraph b of Section 7.2. The Government may request title after learning of the failure of Regeneron to disclose or elect within the specified times for an unlimited time. The Government funding agency may request title upon Regeneron’s omission to timely file patent applications in any country. The Government funding agency may request title in any country in which Regeneron decides to discontinue prosecution.
d.Rights to Regeneron and Protection of Regeneron’s Right to File
Regeneron shall retain a fully paid up, sub-licensable, nonexclusive, royalty-free license throughout the world in each Subject Invention to which the Government obtains title. Regeneron license extends to Regeneron’s subsidiaries and other affiliates (outside this Agreement), if any, within the corporate structure of which Regeneron is a party and includes the right to grant licenses of the same scope to the extent that Regeneron was legally obligated or permitted to do so at the time the Project Agreement was executed. The license is otherwise transferable only with the approval of the Government, except when transferred to an Affiliate or successor of that part of Regeneron’s business to which the Subject Invention pertains. The Government approval for license transfer shall be provided on a timely basis (and in no event later than 90 calendar days following Regeneron’s request) and shall not be unreasonably withheld.
i.The Regeneron license may be revoked or modified by the Government to the extent necessary to achieve expeditious Practical Application of the Subject Invention pursuant to an application for an exclusive or nonexclusive license submitted consistent with appropriate provisions at 37 CFR Part 404. Regeneron’s license shall not be revoked in that field of use or the geographical areas in which Regeneron has achieved Practical Application of the Subject Invention and continues to make the benefits of the Subject Invention accessible to the public.
ii.Before revocation or modification of Regeneron’s license, the Government shall furnish Regeneron with a written notice of its intention to revoke or modify the license, which notice shall include a detailed explanation of the reasons for such revocation or modification, and Regeneron shall be allowed thirty (30) calendar days (or such other time as may be authorized for good cause shown) after the notice to show cause why the license should not be revoked or modified.
.Action to Protect the Government’s Interest
Regeneron agrees to execute or to have executed and promptly deliver to the Government all instruments necessary to (i) establish or confirm the rights the Government has throughout the world in those Subject Inventions to which Regeneron elects to retain title, and (ii) convey title to the Government when requested under Subparagraph c of this Section 7.2 and to enable the Government to obtain patent protection throughout the world in that Subject Invention.
i.Regeneron agrees to require, by written agreement, its employees, other than clerical and non-technical employees, to disclose promptly in writing to personnel identified as responsible for the administration of patent matters and in a format suggested by Regeneron, each Subject Invention made under this Agreement so Regeneron can comply with the disclosure provisions of this Section 7.2. Regeneron shall use reasonable efforts to instruct employees, through employee agreements or other suitable educational programs, on the importance of reporting inventions in sufficient time to permit the filing of patent applications prior to U.S. or foreign statutory bars.
ii.Regeneron shall notify the Government of any decisions not to continue the prosecution of a patent application for a Subject Invention, pay maintenance fees, or defend in a reexamination or opposition proceedings on a patent of a Subject Invention, in any country, not less than thirty (30) calendar days before the expiration of the response period required by the relevant patent office.
Regeneron shall include, within the specification of any United States patent application and any patent issuing thereon covering a Subject Invention, the following statement: “This invention was made with Government support under Agreement MCDC2020-504, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Government has certain rights in the invention.”
f.Lower Tier Agreements
Regeneron shall ensure that its Affiliate agreements and Sub-Recipient Agreements regardless of tier, for experimental, developmental, or research work entered into after the Effective Date and submitted for reimbursement under this Agreement, contain invention reporting and assignment requirements sufficient to permit Regeneron to comply with this Section 7.2.
g.Reporting on Utilization of Subject Inventions
i.Regeneron agrees to submit, during the term of this Project Agreement, an annual report on the utilization of a Subject Invention or on efforts at obtaining such utilization that is being made by Regeneron or its licensees or assignees. Such reports shall include information regarding the status of development, date of first commercial sale or use, and such other data and information as the agency may reasonably specify. Regeneron also agrees to provide additional reports as may be requested by the Government in connection with any march-in proceedings undertaken by the Government in accordance with Subparagraph h of this Section 7.2. Consistent with 35 U.S.C. § 202(c)(5), the Government agrees it shall not disclose such information to persons outside the Government without permission of Regeneron.
ii.All required reports shall be submitted to the e-room, OTAS, OTAO, and OTTR.
h.Compulsory Licensing Rights
Regeneron agrees that, with respect to any Subject Invention in which it has retained title, the Government has the right to require Regeneron, an assignee, or exclusive licensee of a Subject Invention to grant a non-exclusive license to a responsible applicant or applicants, upon terms that are reasonable under the circumstances, and if Regeneron, assignee, or exclusive licensee refuses such a request, the Government has the right to grant such a license within the Field itself only if the Government determines that:
i.Action is necessary to alleviate the following health or safety needs that may affect the United States and Regeneron (itself or through its assignee, subcontractor or licensee) is unwilling or unable to manufacture or supply the Subject Invention to address such needs:
a.Declaration for Public Health Emergency by the Secretary of HHS;
b.Determination that there is a significant potential for a public Health emergency that has a significant potential to affect a national or health security of U.S. citizens as determined by the Secretary of HHS; or
c.Declaration by WHO Director General of a public health emergency of international concern.