Innovation and Intellectual Property Issues in Homeland Security [August 8, 2003] [open pdf - 764KB]
From the Summary: "The U.S. government and private firms alike seek high technology solutions to detect and prevent future terrorist attacks, as well as to respond to any future attacks that do occur. Some concerns exist, however, that patents, trade secrets or other intellectual rights may impede the prompt, widespread and cost-effective distribution of innovations that promote homeland security. These concerns recently arose with respect to pharmaceutical CIPRO, an antibiotic that treats inhalation anthrax. Some commentators called for the U.S. government to 'override' a privately owned patent in order to distribute CIPRO to persons who were potential anthrax victims. Although the patent holder ultimately chose to increase production of CIPRO and lower costs, this scenario remains a possibility for other technologies that bear upon homeland security. […] If an invention was developed using federal government funding, the government may possess certain rights in that invention even though the government contractor obtained a patent. Many entities of the federal government enjoy the statutory authority to purchase a patent or other intellectual property right. Several other statutes and legislative proposals also concern issues at the intersection of homeland security and intellectual property. The Invention Secrecy Act controls the disclosure of inventions that raise national security concerns. Legislative proposals would also call for patent term extensions to award technological progress in anti-terrorism technologies."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32051
Policy Archive: http://www.policyarchive.org/