(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the Department of Transportation is authorized, in its own name, to:
(a) Perform all things necessary to secure letters of patent, copyrights, and trademarks on any legitimately acquired work products, and to enforce its rights therein.
(b) License, lease, assign, or otherwise give written consent to any person, firm, or corporation for the manufacture or use of any product protected by patent, copyright, or trademark, whether on a royalty basis or for such other consideration as the department may deem proper.
(c) Take any action necessary, including legal action, to enforce its rights under any agreement and to protect its property rights from improper or unlawful use or infringement.
(d) Enforce the collection of any payments or other obligations due the department for the manufacture or use of any product by any other party.
(e) Sell any product, except where otherwise provided by public records laws, which the department may create or cause to be created, whether or not the product is protected by a department patent, copyright, or trademark, and to execute all instruments necessary to consummate any such sale.
(f) Do all other acts necessary and proper for the execution of powers and duties herein conferred upon the department.
(2) The department shall notify the Department of State in writing whenever property rights by patent, copyright, or trademark are secured or exploited by the department.
(3) Any proceeds from the sale of products or the right to manufacture or use a product shall be deposited in the State Transportation Trust Fund and may be appropriated to finance activities of the department. The department’s legislative budget request should give special consideration to using such funds for research and development projects.
(4) Any information obtained by the department as a result of research and development projects and revealing a method of process, production, or manufacture which is a trade secret as defined in s. 688.002, is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).
(5) As used in this section the term “product” includes any and all inventions, methodologies, techniques, and creations that may be properly protected by patent, copyright, or trademark.