I sent an angry letter to my congresswoman a while back and this afternoon received the reply. I don’t recall why exactly I sent the letter but at the time it had me pissed off I’m sure. I gathered from “her” response that it was regarding intellectual property laws of some kind but who the hell knows.
I enjoy the email back, for laughs if nothing else, but the typical political side-step hardly fills me with confidence. Oh well, not as if I could do any better, read on if you dare!
Thank you for emailing me regarding intellectual property licenses in federal government contracting. It is good to hear from you, and I apologize for the delay in my reply. As you know, government funded research and development (R&D) ranges from basic research in the sciences, mathematics, and biology to computer technology to military applications. Most funding is through grants, cooperative agreements and contracts. Under most circumstances, when the government funds R&D, it receives non-exclusive licenses to use the intellectual property while the contractor retains title and can use the intellectual property for commercial purposes.Some have proposed altering this R&D structure to allow companies to retain greater intellectual property rights. The House Government Reform Committee’s Technology and Procurement Policy Subcommittee held a hearing in May 2002 on the topic of Intellectual Property and Government R&D for Homeland Security. Information about that hearing can be found at: http://reform.house.gov/tapps/hearings.htm. I am skeptical about proposals to fundamentally change the current structure of federal R&D. I am a member of the House Judiciary Committee’s Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property Subcommittee, which has primary jurisdiction over intellectual property law. Rest assured, I will keep your views in mind should any legislation come before the House of Representatives or the Judiciary Committee.
Again, thank you for sharing your views. Your opinion matters to me. If I can be of service to you in any other way, please do not hesitate to let me know. Sincerely,
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin’s 2nd District
10 East Doty St., Suite 405
Madison, WI 53703
Washington, DC Office:
1022 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515