Pursuant to the Bayh-Dole Act, NSF allows grantees to retain the principal legal rights to intellectual property developed under its grants. This policy provides incentive for development and dissemination of inventions, software, and publications that can enhance their usefulness, accessibility, and upkeep. It does not, however, reduce the responsibility of researchers and organizations to make results, data and collections available to the research community.
To balance these needs, our databases will be copyrighted. Private firms will be able to license access (renewable annually) to the PFI-funded portions of the db for a cost-recovery fee (to sustain servers, network support, etc), then license rights to commercialization of specific germplasm for specific purposes. In the case of the Dslox materials, 'specific purposes' would involve the delineation of specific gene targets among the hundreds to thousands of genes that might be targeted from a single Dslox 'launch pad.' In the case of the introgression stocks, 'specific purposes' would involve the delineation of specific traits to be utilized among the multiple traits that might be associated with different genes in the same introgressed chromosomal segment.
We will provide public researchers with free access to the germplasm and databases under a memorandum of agreement (MOA) through the University of Georgia Research Foundation that is largely standardized but with the incentive that researchers share in royalties accruing from commercialization of discoveries to which they contribute. By submitting data to our transaction database that was generated by their analysis of the enabling tools under their own support, they will become part-owners of the collective information available to be used in decisions by private firms to license specific germplasm. UGA and TTU researchers involved in creation of the enabling tools, plus other public researchers who contribute data, will share equitably in the portion of royalties accruing to the 'originator' (per Univ. GA policy).