I've already asked a question here about the Public Law 95-517 (The "Bayh-Dole Act"), so thanks to the response there I now have some understanding about this act. But what does it mean if a contractor who produces some patented works subject to this act elects not to "retain title"?
A specific example of this is US Patent 7,773,362. In the patent there is a section titled Statement as to Federally-sponsored research, which states;
The invention described herein was made in the performance of work under a NASA contract, and is subject to the provisions of Public Law 96-517 (U.S.C. 202) in which the Contractor has not elected to retain title.
The emphasis was added by me. What does this mean? Is the patent still protected? Who "owns" it?