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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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S.321

Introduced by Senator Mullin of Rutland District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  State funding; public research; prescription drugs

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require the state of Vermont to retain an interest in all patentable innovations and products developed with state funding and require manufacturers using such innovations to make their products available at reasonable prices.

AN ACT RELATING TO RETAINING PATENT RIGHTS IN PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS DEVELOPED WITH THE AID OF STATE FUNDS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  SHORT TITLE

     This act may be referred to as the Vermont Public Interest in Pharmaceutical Patents Act of 2008.

Sec. 2.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS

     The general assembly finds:

(1)  Investments in science and technology by government fuel a thriving pharmaceutical industry.

(2)  Although governments fund much innovation, it is private sector firms who achieve significant profits by taking those innovations to market.

(3)  A large amount of revenue for pharmaceutical firms comes from selling products developed from government-funded innovations back to government health care programs at market price.

Sec. 3.  16 V.S.A. chapter 84 is added to read:

CHAPTER 84.  PATENTS ON STATE-FUNDED INNOVATIONS

§ 2748.  PRICING POLICY; STATE INTEREST

(a)  For the purposes of this section:

(1)  “Pricing” means the pricing of a product or process in the marketplace.

(2)  “Taxpayer-funded invention” means any invention conceived or first practically applied based on taxpayer-funded research.

(3)  “Taxpayer-funded research” means research that is funded in whole or in part by taxpayer funds.

(4)  “Taxpayer funds” means any state money, including direct appropriations, grants, and state bonds.

(b)  Reasonable pricing policies.  Research and development initiatives that are funded in whole or in part with taxpayer funds that result in a patent or are otherwise commercialized must return or provide a benefit to the state and its citizens by providing the new technology or product at a reasonable price.

(c)  Retention of interest.  The state retains an interest in all patents that result from research funded in whole or in part with taxpayer funding, whether that funding is to a state laboratory, a state college or university, a nonprofit organization, a corporation, or any other entity.  All taxpayer-funded research is subject to the following policies:

(1)  Licensing agreements for the commercialization of intellectual property will presumptively be nonexclusive.

(2)  Any exclusive licensing agreement for the commercialization of intellectual property must include the following language: “The State of Vermont has an interest that there be a reasonable relationship between the pricing of a licensed product, the public investment in that product, and the health and safety needs of the public.  The State of Vermont may require that this relationship be supported by reasonable evidence.”

(d)  Construction.  This section shall be interpreted broadly to encompass all research funded by the state.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us