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Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) Act of 2004

Location: Washington, DC

COOPERATIVE RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY ENHANCEMENT (CREATE) ACT OF 2004 -- (House of Representatives - March 10, 2004)


Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, the CREATE Act, which I introduced along with the gentleman from California (Mr. Berman), allows researchers and inventors who work for different organizations and collaborate on inventions to share information without losing the ability to file for a patent.

This legislation removes roadblocks to the patenting of collaborative inventions. It empowers researchers to choose to collaborate when it is in their interest, and to compete for inventions when it is not.

Under current law, individuals who did not work on an invention or project can challenge patent applications. This leads to invalidated patents which harms our economy and the inventors, researchers and entrepreneurs who want to create new products.

Today's biotech, pharmaceutical, and nanotechnology companies conduct much of their research with partners such as universities and other public or private organizations.

In fact, the University of Texas ranks fourth on the list of universities that receive the most patents. Many of these patents result from working with the private sector on research.

America's universities, private companies, public organizations and nonprofit institutions all have a stake in ensuring the U.S. patent system rewards rather than inhibits their innovations, from life-saving therapies to fuel cells.

Yesterday, my subcommittee received a letter from the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which supports this legislation. The organization stated, "The majority of our members routinely engage in collaborative research. We believe that encouraging this type of research will greatly enhance the ability of the biotechnology industry to develop life-saving and life-enhancing products."

The CREATE Act: (1) Promotes communication among team researchers located at multiple organizations; (2) discourages those who would use the discovery process to impede coinventors who voluntarily collaborated on research resulting in patentable inventions; (3) increases public knowledge; and (4) accelerates the commercial availability of new inventions.

The CREATE Act benefits all industries that engage in collaborative and cooperative research involving more than one organization. The classic example is biotechnology, since it has a culture and a business model that is multi-disciplinary.

When a biotechnology company decides to partner with a university, we want to prevent that partnership from being harassed by a third party. Biotech investment dollars dedicated to research should and must be used in an effective way without the possibility of a lawsuit or a grievance filed against it.

The CREATE Act was inspired by two principles essential to a democracy: The protection of intellectual property rights and the freedom to exchange goods and services.

Research collaborations are essential to the discovery of new inventions, the creation of new jobs, and the health of the U.S. economy. Protecting them will provide greater incentives to develop new technologies.

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