Lawmakers Who Take Risks to Support Tech Transfer Have Earned AUTM's Thanks—and Yours


Mike Waring
AUTM Advocacy and Alliances Coordinator

There’s an old expression that “you can never say ‘thank you’ enough.” It’s a good policy for life in general, and it’s particularly important in politics. That’s why right now AUTM is thanking legislators for their vocal opposition to the recent proposal to reinterpret the Bayh-Dole Act, and why every innovation stakeholder should do the same.
Lawmakers are constantly being asked to support or oppose all sorts of legislation or issues.  The decisions they make are important and can sometimes carry political risk. So when a member of Congress stands up for technology transfer, we need to be ready to thank that person for their support.
This is especially true as we battle the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s proposed framework for changes to the federal government’s march-in authority. While the potential changes are being pitched as helping reduce drug prices, they do no such thing. Yet the supporters’ position is much easier to explain to voters than our more nuanced view. Thus, we need to rally around those lawmakers who are taking on this issue for the betterment of American innovation.
Recently four lawmakers in Congress – Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) – led a bipartisan, bicameral letter to the White House, urging President Biden not to change the current Bayh-Dole rules for marching in on patents. This letter was co-signed by 20 other lawmakers and helps balance a letter led by other lawmakers that supports the proposed changes. We need to make sure those policymakers who supported us are thanked for doing so.
Below is the list of those who signed the Coons/Tillis/Issa/Auchincloss letter.  If you live in a state or district represented by any of these lawmakers, please take the time to send them a brief note of thanks. As always, be sure to work with your federal relations officers on the letter and its transmission. You are welcome to use this sample letter as a guide and add your own details, including an example of an impactful tech transfer effort involving your institution’s federally funded research. You can find more background on the fight against misuse of march-in rights here.


Chris Coons (D-DE)
Ted Budd (R-NC)
Thom Tillis (R-NC)
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ)
James Lankford (R-OK)


Jake Auchincloss (D-MA)
Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Scott Peters (D-CA)
Wiley Nickel (D-NC)
Glenn GT Thompson (R-PA)
Luis Correa (D-CA)
Donald Davis (D-NC)
Debbie Lesko (R-AZ)
Ben Cline (R-VA)
Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ)
Blake Moore (R-UT)
Thomas Kean Jr. (R-NJ)
Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL)
Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI)
Ami Bera MD (D-CA)
Deborah Ross (D-NC)
Bryan Steil (R-WI)
Rudy Yakym (R-IN)