Summary: S.1480 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (09/23/1988)

(Reported to Senate from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources with amendment, S. Rept. 100-544)

Department of Energy National Laboratory Cooperative Research Initiatives Act - Defines terms and lists laboratories subject to this Act.

Declares it a mission of the National Laboratories to foster, consistent with the national security and a fair return on taxpayers' investment, the commercialization of technology developed through laboratory activities.

Title I: The Department of Energy National Laboratories Centers for Research on Enabling Technologies for High Temperature Superconducting Applications - Directs the Secretary of Energy to: (1) initiate and implement a cooperative program of research on enabling high-temperature superconductor technology and its practical applications; (2) require and ensure National Laboratory participation in this research by means of agreements with other Federal agencies, academic institutions, or private industrial or research organizations; (3) form the Council for Research on Enabling Technologies, comprising representatives of appropriate government, university, and industry personnel, to advise the Secretary concerning goals and to recommend guidelines for the release of technical findings and developments made by cooperative research centers; and (4) establish cooperative research centers in enabling technology for high-temperature superconducting materials and applications at at least one National Laboratory. Sets forth criteria for selecting Laboratories.

Directs the Council to ensure that there is no unnecessary duplication of activities of the Research Centers on Superconductivity and Superconductivity Pilot Centers.

Permits personnel exchanges among firms or universities and National Laboratories participating in the program. Requires user fees in connection with Department of Energy (DOE) facility use authorized by the Secretary.

Authorizes the Secretary to include high-temperature superconductivity activities in DOE research and development budget requests for FY 1990 through 1995.

Describes cost-sharing features to apply to National Laboratories participating in the program. Prohibits a laboratory from receiving: (1) more than ten percent of its annual budget from nonappropriated funds derived from work for others under program contracts, unless the Secretary gives advance approval; or (2) from any person more than $10,000,000 of nonappropriated funds under any cooperative research and development agreement under this title, unless the Secretary approves in advance.

Describes procedures governing review and modification of cooperative agreements, as well as recordkeeping requirements.

Treats cooperative agreements, associations, or consortia established by the National Laboratories or by the Secretary under this title as tax-exempt organizations (501(c)(3) organizations) with respect to activities under this title. Includes amounts transferred to such entities as basic research payments eligible for the research tax credit.

Recognizes no capital gain or loss in connection with transfers of any patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, mask work, or other intellectual property by or between parties to agreements under this title.

Considers any cooperative agreement, association, or consortium under this as a joint research and development venture for purposes of the National Cooperative Research Act of 1984 (thus providing antitrust defenses).

Title II: Technology Management at the Department of Energy National Laboratories - Directs the Secretary to: (1) review existing regulations, policy materials, and administrative processes associated with National Laboratories directors' ability to enter into cooperative research agreements with private industry and universities; (2) review existing standards for resolving possible conflicts of interests; (3) review the effects of the exchange of information, scientific innovation, and commercialization deriving from cooperative research and development agreements; (4) survey non-Governmental parties interested in such agreements to determine whether adequate incentives exist for scientific innovation and commercialization; (5) formulate and implement comprehensive policy to advance this Act's objectives; and (6) report review findings, along with resulting recommendations, to the Congress and to the President.

Directs the Secretary to prescribe regulations to ensure that the director of any National Laboratory has the authority to negotiate and enter into cooperative research and development agreements with various private and public entities and to negotiate intellectual property licensing agreements for National Laboratory property.

Authorizes National Laboratory directors to include specified types of provisions in cooperative agreements. Enumerates mandatory determinations the director must make when deciding whether to enter an agreement, including a determination that National Laboratory facilities are available and that the proposed work is consistent with applicable guidelines and would neither interfere with Department of Energy programs nor create a financial burden on the laboratory.

Limits the cumulative total of nonappropriated funds received in any year under agreements under this title to 10 percent of the annual budget of the laboratory.

Sets forth criteria the director of a National Laboratory must consider when deciding which agreements to enter into, including a preference for businesses that agree to manufacture the relevant property substantially in the United States.

Requires each National Laboratory to keep records of all agreements and to submit them annually to the Secretary.

Lists provisions to govern disposition of title to property developed by National Laboratories. Permits waivers of Government license rights if the Secretary determines that the U.S. interest or that of the general public would be well served. Mandates that a waiver be considered in order to obtain a uniquely qualified contractor, in conjunction with certain cost sharing or joint venture projects, or if substantial additional investment is required for a product whose primary market is likely to be the United States.

Enumerates intellectual property rights and royalty provisions that must be included in DOE funding agreements to operate a National Laboratory.

Vests in arbitration boards the responsibility of determining the amount to be paid to the United States by National Laboratory managers or directors for intellectual property rights retained by the laboratory.

Authorizes the Secretary to require the licensing to third parties of all intellectual property subject to this title's provisions.

Directs the Secretary and the Inspector General of the Department of Energy, along with the Comptroller General, to conduct periodic audits of National Laboratory activities.

Subjects regulations with respect to cooperative agreements, patent ownership, and intellectual property to preissuance review by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

Directs the Secretary immediately upon this title's enactment to enter into negotiations to amend existing National Laboratories' contracts to reflect the new law.