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S. 1841 (98th): National Cooperative Research Act of 1984

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


9/21/1984--Conference report filed in House. (Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 98-1044) National Cooperative Research Act of 1984 - Provides that a person's conduct in making or performing a contract to carry out a joint research and development venture shall not be deemed illegal per se under Federal antitrust laws or similar State laws but shall be judged on its reasonableness considering factors including its effect on competition in the relevant markets. Excludes from the definition of the term "joint research and development venture" any activity in which two or more participating parties: (1) exchange information regarding the costs, sales, profitability, prices, marketing, or distribution of any product, process, or service that is not required to conduct the research and development under such venture; (2) restrict or require the production or marketing by any party of any product, process, or service other than proprietary information developed through such venture; or (3) restrict or require other research and development activities, or the sale, licensing, or sharing of any invention or development not developed through such venture, if such a restriction or requirement is not required to prevent misappropriation of proprietary information contributed by any participant or of the results of such venture. Limits to actual damages, specified interest thereon, and the cost of suit the amount that any person or State may recover on a claim in an antitrust action under State or Federal law if the claim is: (1) based on conduct under a joint research and development venture that is described in a venture notification filed with the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC); and (2) filed after such notification becomes effective. Provides that such recovery limitation shall not apply to any conduct in violation of a court order or decree issued after enactment of this Act in any State or Federal antitrust action challenging such conduct as part of such a venture. Directs the court to award the cost of litigating such a claim, including reasonable attorney fees, to: (1) a substantially prevailing claimant; or (2) a substantially prevailing defendent if the claimant's conduct during the litigation was frivolous, unreasonable, without foundation, or in bad faith. Authorizes such an award to be offset by an award in favor of any other party for any part of the cost of litigation attributable to conduct during the litigation by any prevailing party that the court finds to be frivolous, unreasonable, without foundation, or in bad faith. Permits any party to a joint research and development venture, in order to qualify for such limited recovery protection, to file with the Attorney General and the FTC within a specified period a notification disclosing the parties to such venture and the nature and objectiveness of the venture. Requires the venture to file a notification of any change of membership within 90 days after such change. Directs the Attorney General or the FTC, within 30 days after receiving such notification, to publish in the Federal Register a notice identifying the parties to such venture and the area of planned activity of such venture. Provides that such a notification shall be effective as of the earlier of: (1) the date of expiration of such 30-day period, provided the notice is published eventually; or (2) the date the notice is published. Exempts from public disclosure all material submitted as part of such a notification and all information obtained by the Attorney General or the FTC in any investigation, administrative proceeding, or case concerning an antitrust violation by a venture for which such a notification was filed.