The Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act in Stanford University v. Roche Molecular Systems, Inc., 563 U.S. ___, 131 S. Ct. 2188; 180 L. Ed. 2d 1 (2011). The Bayh-Dole Act is a federal statute that was passed in 1980 that provides a procedure under which federal agencies and other organizations can obtain patent rights in government-sponsored research.

The Supreme Court reviewed the statute in this case due to concerns that the Bayh-Dole Act, as written, could somehow interfere with the “Patent Clause” of Article I of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the authority to:

"[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries (U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8"

The Supreme Court determined that the Bayh-Dole Act did not conflict with the U.S. Constitution.