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Relating to the protection and use of certain products, information, and technology of the Parks and Wildlife Department.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. However, here would be an indeterminate positive impact on revenues deposited to the General Revenue-Dedicated Game, Fish, and Water Safety Account No. 9 and General Revenue-Dedicated State Parks Account No. 64 from revenues that may be derived from royalties, license rights, or other compensation for the development or purchase of intellectual property.
The bill would amend the Parks and Wildlife Code to allow the Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to apply for patents, copyrights, trademarks or similar identifying marks, or other evidence of protection of exclusivity for intellectual property. The bill would allow TPWD to enter into contracts and collect a fee or royalty. Any revenue derived from royalties, license rights, or other compensation for the development or purchase of intellectual property would be credited to the Game, Fish, and Water Safety Account No. 9 (Fund 9) or the State Parks Account No. 64 (Fund 64), as appropriate.
Based on information provided by TPWD, duties and responsibilities associated with implementing the provisions of the bill could be accomplished utilizing exiting resources. At the time of this analysis, TPWD was not able to estimate revenues that would be generated under the provisions of the bill since each protected property will carry it's own valuation. However, ;this analysis assumes there would be an indeterminate positive impact on revenues to Fund 9 and Fund 64.
SB 1132, if passed, would modify the Parks and Wildlife Code by allowing the Parks and Wildlife Department to apply for, register, hold, and protect intellectual property. The bill goes on to specify the intellectual property in question, which includes copyrights, trademarks, and patents. There is also a discussion of contracts, royalties, and other relevant legal devices regarding intellectual property.
It seems reasonable to allow the Department of Parks and Wildlife to hold intellectual property, particularly since SB 1132 would clarify certain areas which are already law but somewhat ambiguous, such as how the Department can license and hold royalties, but not intellectual property per se. The bill also has the potential to have a positive impact on state revenues as the Department would be able to attain financial gain from any intellectual property it develops. Ultimately though, because this bill affects a government entity and not the private sector, we are neutral on this bill.