Ethics Issues Related to the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986


A government employee-inventor who assigns his rights in an invention to the United States and accepts the government’s payment of amounts tied to the resulting royalties, as provided in the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, may continue to work on the invention without violating the statute against taking part in matters in which he has a financial interest, 18 U.S.C. § 208, or the statute forbidding supplementation of federal salaries, 18 U.S.C. § 209.

Under 18 U.S.C § 208, a government employee-inventor may not take official action with respect to an agreement for development of his invention entered into by the United States and a company with which the employee has contracted to exploit the invention abroad.

Updated July 9, 2014