FAR -- Part 27 Patents, Data, and Copyrights

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FAR -- Part 27
Patents, Data, and Copyrights

27.000 -- Scope of Part.

This part prescribes policies, procedures, solicitation provisions, and contract clauses pertaining to patents, data, and copyrights.

27.001 – Definitions.

“United States,” as used in this part, means the 50 States and the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and possessions, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Subpart 27.1 -- General

27.101 -- Applicability.

This Part 27 applies to all agencies. However, agencies are authorized to adopt alternative policies, procedures, solicitation provisions, and contract clauses to the extent necessary to meet the specific requirements of laws, executive orders, treaties, or international agreements. Any agency adopting alternative policies, procedures, solicitation provisions, and contract clauses should include them in the agency’s published regulations.

27.102 -- General Guidance.

(a) The Government encourages the maximum practical commercial use of inventions made under Government contracts.

(b) Generally, the Government will not refuse to award a contract on the grounds that the prospective contractor may infringe a patent. The government may authorize and consent to the use of inventions in the performance of certain contracts, even though the inventions may be covered by U.S. patents.

(c) Generally, contractors providing commercial items should indemnify the Government against liability of the infringement of U.S. patents.

(d) The Government recognizes rights in data developed at private expense, and limits its demands for delivery of that data. When such data is delivered, the Government will acquire only those rights essential to its needs.

(e) The Government requires that contractors obtain permission from copyright owners before including copyrighted works, owned by others, in data to be delivered to the Government.

Subpart 27.2 – Patents and Copyrights.

27.200 -- Scope of Subpart.

This subpart prescribes policy and procedures with respect to—

(a) Patent and copyright infringement liability;

(b) Royalties;

(c) Security requirements for patent applications containing classified subject matter; and

(d) Patented technology under trade agreements.

27.201 – Patent and Copyright Infringement Liability.

27.201-1 -- General.

(a) Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1498, the exclusive remedy for patent or copyright infringement by or on behalf of the Government is a suit for monetary damages against the Government in the Court of Federal Claims. There is no injunctive relief available, and there is no direct cause of action against a contractor that is infringing a patent or copyright with the authorization or consent of the Government (e.g., while performing a contract).

(b) The Government may expressly authorize and consent to a contractor’s use or manufacture of inventions covered by U.S. patents by inserting the clause at 52.227-1, Authorization and Consent.

(c) Because of the exclusive remedies granted in 28 U.S.C. 1498, the Government requires notice and assistance from its contractors regarding any claims for patent or copyright infringement by inserting the clause at 52.227-2, Notice and Assistance, Regarding Patent and Copyright Infringement.

(d) The Government may require a contractor to reimburse it for liability for patent infringement arising out of a contract for commercial items by inserting the clause at FAR 52.227-3, Patent Indemnity.

27.201-2 – Contract Clauses.

(a)

(b) Insert the clause at 52.227-2, Notice and Assistance Regarding Patent and Copyright Infringement, in all solicitations and contracts that include the clause at 52.227-1, Authorization and Consent.

(c)

(d)

(e) It may be in the Government's interest to exempt specific U.S. patents from the patent indemnity clause. Exclusion from indemnity of identified patents, as distinguished from items, is the prerogative of the agency head. Upon written approval of the agency head, the contracting officer may insert the clause at 52.227-5, Waiver of Indemnity, in solicitations and contracts in addition to the appropriate patent indemnity clause.

(f) If a patent indemnity clause is not prescribed, the contracting officer may include one in the solicitation and contract if it is in the Government's interest to do so.

(g) The contracting officer shall not include in any solicitation or contract any clause whereby the Government agrees to indemnify a contractor for patent infringement.

27.202 – Royalties.

27.202-1 – Reporting of Royalties.

(a) To determine whether royalties anticipated or actually paid under Government contracts are excessive, improper, or inconsistent with Government patent rights the solicitation provision at 52.227-6 requires prospective contractors to furnish royalty information. The contracting officer shall take appropriate action to reduce or eliminate excessive or improper royalties.

(b) If the response to a solicitation includes a charge for royalties, the contracting officer shall, before award of the contract, forward the information to the office having cognizance of patent matters for the contracting activity. The cognizant office shall promptly advise the contracting officer of appropriate action.

(c) The contracting officer, when considering the approval of a subcontract, shall require royalty information if it is required under the prime contract. The contracting officer shall forward the information to the office having cognizance of patent matters. However, the contracting officer need not delay consent while awaiting advice from the cognizant office.

(d) The contracting officer shall forward any royalty reports to the office having cognizance of patent matters for the contracting activity.

27.202-2 -- Notice of Government as a Licensee.

(a) When the Government is obligated to pay a royalty on a patent because of an existing license agreement and the contracting officer believes that the licensed patent will be applicable to a prospective contract, the Government should furnish the prospective offerors with--

(b) When the Government is obligated to pay such a royalty, the solicitation should also require offerors to furnish information indicating whether or not each offeror is the patent owner or a licensee under the patent. This information is necessary so that the Government may either—

27.202-3 – Adjustment of Royalties.

(a) If at any time the contracting officer believes that any royalties paid, or to be paid, under a contract or subcontract are inconsistent with Government rights, excessive, or otherwise improper, the contracting officer shall promptly report the facts to the office having cognizance of patent matters for the contracting activity concerned.

(b) In coordination with the cognizant office, the contracting officer shall promptly act to protect the Government against payment of royalties—

(c) In appropriate cases, the contracting officer in coordination with the cognizant office shall demand a refund pursuant to any refund of royalties clause in the contract (see 27.202-4) or negotiate for a reduction of royalties.

(d) For guidance in evaluating information furnished pursuant to 27.202-1, see 31.205-37. See also 31.109 regarding advance understandings on particular cost items, including royalties.

27.202-4 – Refund of Royalties.

27.202-5 – Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses.

(a)

(b) If the Government is obligated to pay a royalty on a patent involved in the prospective contract, insert in the solicitation a provision substantially the same as the provision at 52.227-7, Patents--Notice of Government Licensee. If the clause at 52.227-6 is not included in the solicitation, the contracting officer may require offerors to provide information sufficient to provide this notice to the other offerors.

(c) Insert the clause at 52.227-9, Refund of Royalties, in negotiated fixed-price solicitations and contracts when royalties may be paid under the contract. If a fixed-price incentive contract is contemplated, change “price” to “target cost and target profit” wherever it appears in the clause. The clause may be used in cost-reimbursement contracts where agency approval of royalties is necessary to protect the Government’s interests.

27.203 – Security Requirements for Patent Applications Containing Classified Subject Matter.

27.203-1 -- General.

(a) Unauthorized disclosure of classified subject matter, whether in patent applications or resulting from the issuance of a patent, may be a violation of 18 U.S.C. 792, et seq. (Chapter 37--Espionage and Censorship), and related statutes, and may be contrary to the interests of national security.

(b) Upon receipt of a patent application under paragraph (a) or (b) of the clause at 52.227-10, Filing of Patent Applications--Classified Subject Matter, the contracting officer shall ascertain the proper security classification of the patent application. If the application contains classified subject matter, the contracting officer shall inform the contractor how to transmit the application to the United States Patent Office in accordance with procedures provided by legal counsel. If the material is classified “Secret” or higher, the contracting officer shall make every effort to notify the contractor within 30 days of the Government's determination, pursuant to paragraph (a) of the clause.

(c) Upon receipt of information furnished by the contractor under paragraph (d) of the clause at 52.227-10, the contracting officer shall promptly submit that information to legal counsel in order that the steps necessary to ensure the security of the application will be taken.

(d) The contracting officer shall act promptly on requests for approval of foreign filing under paragraph (c) of the clause at 52.227-10 in order to avoid the loss of valuable patent rights of the Government or the contractor.

27.203-2 – Contract Clauses.

Insert the clause at 52.227-10, Filing of Patent Applications--Classified Subject Matter, in all classified solicitations and contracts and in all solicitations and contracts where the nature of the work reasonably might result in a patent application containing classified subject matter.

27.204 – Patented Technology Under Trade Agreements.

27.204-1 – Use of Patented Technology Under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

(a) The requirements of this section apply to the use of technology covered by a valid patent when the patent holder is from a country that is a party to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

(b) Article 1709(10) of NAFTA generally requires a user of technology covered by a valid patent to make a reasonable effort to obtain authorization prior to use of the patented technology. However, NAFTA provides that this requirement for authorization may be waived in situations of national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency, or for public noncommercial use.

(c) Section 6 of Executive Order 12889, “Implementation of the North American Free Trade Act,” of December 27, 1993, waives the requirement to obtain advance authorization for an invention used or manufactured by or for the Federal Government. However, the patent owner shall be notified in advance whenever the agency or its contractor knows or has reasonable grounds to know, without making a patent search, that an invention described in and covered by a valid U.S. patent is or will be used or manufactured without a license. In cases of national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency, this notification need not be made in advance, but shall be made as soon as reasonably practicable.

(d) The contracting officer, in consultation with the office having cognizance of patent matters, shall ensure compliance with the notice requirements of NAFTA Article 1709(10) and Executive Order 12889. A contract award should not be suspended pending notification to the patent owner.

(e) Section 6(c) of Executive Order 12889 provides that the notice to the patent owner does not constitute an admission of infringement of a valid privately-owned patent.

(f) When addressing issues regarding compensation for the use of patented technology, Government personnel should be advised that NAFTA uses the term “adequate remuneration.” Executive Order 12889 equates “remuneration” to “reasonable and entire compensation” as used in 28 U.S.C. 1498, the statute that gives jurisdiction to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to hear patent and copyright cases involving infringement by the Government.

(g) When questions arise regarding the notice requirements or other matters relating to this section, the contracting officer should consult with legal counsel.

27.204-2 – Use of Patented Technology Under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Article 31 of Annex 1C, Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, to GATT (Uruguay Round) addresses situations where the law of a member country allows for use of a patent without authorization, including use by the Government.

Subpart 27.3 -- Patent Rights Under Government Contracts.

27.300 -- Scope of Subpart.

This subpart prescribes policies, procedures, solicitation provisions, and contract clauses pertaining to inventions made in the performance of work under a Government contract or subcontract for experimental, developmental, or research work. Agency policies, procedures, solicitation provisions, and clauses may be specified in agency supplemental regulations as permitted by law, including 37 CFR 401.1.

27.301 -- Definitions.

As used in this subpart—

“Invention” means any invention or discovery that is or may be patentable or otherwise protectable under title 35 of the U.S. Code, or any variety of plant that is or may be protectable under the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2321, et seq.).

“Made” means—

“Nonprofit organization” means a university or other institution of higher education or an organization of the type described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (26 U.S.C. 501(c)) and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(a)), or any nonprofit scientific or educational organization qualified under a State nonprofit organization statute.

“Practical application” means to manufacture, in the case of a composition or product; to practice, in the case of a process or method; or to operate, in the case of a machine or system; and, in each case, under such conditions as to establish that the invention is being utilized and that its benefits are, to the extent permitted by law or Government regulations, available to the public on reasonable terms.

“Subject invention” means any invention of the contractor made in the performance of work under a Government contract.

27.302 -- Policy.

(a) Introduction. In accordance with chapter 18 of title 35, U.S.C.(as implemented by 37 CFR part 401), Presidential Memorandum on Government Patent Policy to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies dated February 18, 1983, and Executive Order 12591, Facilitating Access to Science and Technology dated April 10, 1987, it is the policy and objective of the Government to—

(b) Contractor right to elect title.

(c) Government license. The Government shall have at least a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license to practice, or have practiced for or on behalf of the United States, any subject invention throughout the world. The Government may require additional rights in order to comply with treaties or other international agreements. In such case, these rights shall be made a part of the contract (see 27.303).

(d) Government right to receive title.

(e) Utilization reports. The Government has the right to require periodic reporting on how any subject invention is being used by the contractor or its licensees or assignees. In accordance with 35 U.S.C. 202(c)(5) and 37 CFR part 401, agencies shall not disclose such utilization reports to persons outside the Government without permission of the contractor. Contractors should mark as confidential/proprietary any utilization report to help prevent inadvertent release outside the Government.

(f) March-in rights.

(g) Preference for United States industry. In accordance with 35 U.S.C. 204, no contractor that receives title to any subject invention and no assignee of the contractor shall grant to any person the exclusive right to use or sell any subject invention in the United States unless that person agrees that any products embodying the subject invention or produced through the use of the subject invention will be manufactured substantially in the United States. However, in individual cases, the requirement for this agreement may be waived by the agency upon a showing by the contractor or assignee that reasonable but unsuccessful efforts have been made to grant licenses on similar terms to potential licensees that would be likely to manufacture substantially in the United States or that under the circumstances domestic manufacture is not commercially feasible.

(h) Special conditions for nonprofit organizations’ preference for small business concerns.

(i) Minimum rights to contractor.

(j) Confidentiality of inventions. Publishing information concerning an invention before a patent application is filed on a subject invention may create a bar to a valid patent. To avoid this bar, agencies may withhold information from the public that discloses any invention in which the Government owns or may own a right, title, or interest (including a nonexclusive license) (see 35 U.S.C. 205 and 37 CFR part 401). Agencies may only withhold information concerning inventions for a reasonable time in order for a patent application to be filed. Once filed in any patent office, agencies are not required to release copies of any document that is a part of a patent application for those subject inventions. (See also 27.305-4.)

27.303 -- Contract Clauses.

(a)

(b)

(c) Insert a patent rights clause in accordance with the procedures at 27.304-2 if the solicitation or contract is being placed on behalf of another Government agency.

(d) Insert a patent rights clause in accordance with agency procedures if the solicitation or contract is for DoD, DOE, or NASA, and the contractor is other than a small business concern or nonprofit organization.

(e)

27.304 -- Procedures.

27.304-1 -- General.

(a) Status as a small business concern or nonprofit organization. If an agency has reason to question the size or nonprofit status of the prospective contractor, the agency may require the prospective contractor to furnish evidence of its nonprofit status or may file a size protest in accordance with FAR 19.302.

(b) Exceptions.

(c) Greater rights determinations. Whenever the contract contains the clause at 52.227-13, Patent Rights--Ownership by the Government, or a patent rights clause modified pursuant to 27.303(e)(2), the contractor (or an employee-inventor of the contractor after consultation with the contractor) may request greater rights to an identified invention within the period specified in the clause. The contracting officer may grant requests for greater rights if the contracting officer determines that the interests of the United States and the general public will be better served. In making these determinations, the contracting officer shall consider at least the following objectives (see 37 CFR 401.3(b) and 401.15):

(d) Retention of rights by inventor. If the contractor elects not to retain title to a subject invention, the agency may consider and, after consultation with the contractor, grant requests for retention of rights by the inventor. Retention of rights by the inventor will be subject to the conditions in paragraphs (d) (except paragraph (d)(1)(i)), (e)(4), (f), (g), and (h) of the clause at 52.227-11, Patent Rights--Ownership by the Contractor.

(e) Government assignment to contractor of rights in Government employees’ inventions. When a Government employee is a co-inventor of an invention made under a contract with a small business concern or nonprofit organization, the agency employing the co-inventor may license or assign whatever rights it may acquire in the subject invention from its employee to the contractor, subject at least to the conditions of 35 U.S.C. 202-204.

(f) Revocation or modification of contractor’s minimum rights. Before revoking or modifying the contractor’s license in accordance with 27.302(i)(2), the contracting officer shall furnish the contractor a written notice of intention to revoke or modify the license. The agency shall allow the contractor at least 30 days (or another time as may be authorized for good cause by the contracting officer) after the notice to show cause why the license should not be revoked or modified. The contractor has the right to appeal, in accordance with applicable regulations in 37 CFR part 404 and agency licensing regulations, any decisions concerning the revocation or modification.

(g) Exercise of march-in rights. When exercising march-in rights, agencies shall follow the procedures set forth in 37 CFR 401.6.

(h) Licenses and assignments under contracts with nonprofit organizations. If the contractor is a nonprofit organization, paragraph (i) of the clause at 52.227-11 provides that certain contractor actions require agency approval.

27.304-2 -- Contracts Placed by or for Other Government Agencies.

The following procedures apply unless an interagency agreement provide otherwise:

(a) When a Government agency requests another Government agency to award a contract on its behalf, the request should explain any special circumstances surrounding the contract and specify the patent rights clause to be used. The clause should be selected and modified, if necessary, in accordance with the policies and procedures of this subpart. If, however, the request states that a clause of the requesting agency is required (e.g., because of statutory requirements, a deviation, or exceptional circumstances), the awarding agency shall use that clause rather than those of this subpart.

(b) Any action requiring an agency determination, report, or deviation involved in the use of the requesting agency’s clause is the responsibility of the requesting agency unless the agencies agree otherwise. However, the awarding agency may not alter the requesting agency’s clause without prior approval of the requesting agency.

(c) The requesting agency may require, and provide instructions regarding, the forwarding or handling of any invention disclosures or other reporting requirements of the specified clauses. Normally the requesting agency is responsible for the administration of any subject inventions. This responsibility shall be established in advance of awarding any contracts.

27.304-3 -- Subcontracts.

(a) The policies and procedures in this subpart apply to all subcontracts at any tier.

(b) Whenever a prime contractor or a subcontractor considers including a particular clause in a subcontract to be inappropriate or a subcontractor refuses to accept the clause, the contracting officer, in consultation with counsel, shall resolve the matter.

(c) It is Government policy that contractors shall not use their ability to award subcontracts as economic leverage to acquire rights for themselves in inventions resulting from subcontracts.

27.304-4 -- Appeals.

(a) The designated agency official shall provide the contractor with a written statement of the basis, including any relevant facts, for taking any of the following actions:

(b) Each agency may establish and publish procedures under which any of these actions may be appealed. These appeal procedures should include administrative due process procedures and standards for fact-finding. The resolution of any appeal shall consider both the factual and legal basis for the action and its consistency with the policy and objectives of 35 U.S.C. 200-206 and 210.

(c) To the extent that any of the actions described in paragraph (a) of this section are subject to appeal under the Contract Disputes statute, the procedures under that statute will satisfy the requirements of paragraphs (b).

27.305 -- Administration of Patent Rights Clauses.

27.305-1 -- Goals.

(a) Contracts having a patent rights clause should be so administered that—

(b) If a subject invention is made under a contract funded by more than one agency, at the request of the contractor or on their own initiative, the agencies shall designate one agency as responsible for administration of the rights of the Government in the invention.

27.305-2 – Administration by the Government.

(a) Agencies should establish and maintain appropriate follow-up procedures to protect the Government’s interest and to check that subject inventions are identified and disclosed, and when appropriate, patent applications are filed, and that the Government’s rights therein are established and protected. Follow-up activities for contracts that include a clause referenced in 27.304-2 shall be coordinated with the appropriate agency.

(b)

(c) Contracting activities should establish appropriate procedures to detect and correct failures by the contractor to comply with its obligations under the patent rights clauses, such as failures to disclose and report subject inventions, both during and after contract performance. Government effort to review and correct contractor compliance with its patent rights obligations should be directed primarily toward contracts that are more likely to result in subject inventions significant in number or quality. These contracts include contracts of a research, developmental, or experimental nature; contracts of a large dollar amount; and any other contracts when there is reason to believe the contractor may not be complying with its contractual obligations. Other contracts may be reviewed using a spot-check method, as feasible. Appropriate follow-up procedures and activities may include the investigation or review of selected contracts or contractors by those qualified in patent and technical matters to detect failures to comply with contract obligations.

(d) Follow-up activities should include, where appropriate, use of Government patent personnel—

(e) If a contractor or subcontractor does not have a clear understanding its obligations under the clause, or its procedures for complying with the clause are deficient, the contracting officer should explain to the contractor its obligations. The withholding of payments provision (if any) of the patent rights clause may be invoked if the contractor fails to meet the obligations required by the patent right clause. Significant or repeated failures by a contractor to comply with the patent rights obligation in its contracts shall be documented and made a part of the general file (see 4.801(c)(3)).

27.305-3 – Securing Invention Rights Acquired by the Government.

(a) Agencies are responsible for implementing procedures necessary to protect the Government’s interest in subject inventions. When the Government acquires the entire right, title, and interest in an invention by contract, the chain of title from the inventor to the Government shall be clearly established. This is normally accomplished by an assignment either from each inventor to the contractor and from the contractor to the Government, or from the inventor to the Government with the consent of the contractor. When the Government’s rights are limited to a license, there should be a confirmatory instrument to that effect.

(b) Agencies may, by supplemental instructions, develop suitable assignments, licenses, and other papers evidencing any rights of the Government in patents or patents applications. These instruments should be recorded in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (see Executive Order 9424, Establishing in the United States Patent Office a Register of Government Interests in Patents and Applications for Patents, (February 18, 1944)).

27.305-4 – Protection of Invention Disclosures.

(a) The Government will, to the extent authorized by 35 U.S.C. 205, withhold from disclosure to the public any invention disclosures reported under the patent rights clauses of 52.227-11 or 52.227-13 for a reasonable time in order for patent applications to be filed. The Government will follow the policy in 27.302(j) regarding protection of confidentiality.

(b) The Government should also use reasonable efforts to withhold from disclosure to the public for a reasonable time other information disclosing a subject invention. This information includes any data delivered pursuant to contract requirements provided that the contractor notifies the agency as to the identity of the data and the subject invention to which it relates at the time of delivery of the data. This notification shall be provided to both the contracting officer and to any patent representative to which the invention is reported, if other than the contracting officer.

(c) For more information on protection of invention disclosures, also see 37 CFR 401.13.

27.306 -- Licensing Background Patent Rights to Third Parties.

(a) A contract with a small business firm or nonprofit organization shall not contain a provision allowing the Government to require the licensing to third parties of inventions owned by the contractor that are not subject inventions unless the agency head has approved and signed a written justification in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section. The agency head may not delegate this authority and may exercise the authority only if it is determined that the—

(b) Any determination will be on the record after an opportunity for a hearing, and the agency shall notify the contractor of the determination by certified or registered mail. The notification shall include a statement that the contractor must bring any action for judicial review of the determination within 60 days after the notification.

Subpart 27.4 -- Rights in Data and Copyrights.

27.400 -- Scope of Subpart.

(a) This subpart set for policies and procedures regarding rights in data and copyrights, and acquisition of data. The policy statement in 27.402 applies to all executive agencies. The remainder of the subpart applies to all executive agencies except the Department of Defense.

27.401 -- Definitions.

As used in this subpart—

“Data” means recorded information, regardless of form or the media on which it may be recorded. The term includes technical data and computer software. The term does not include information incidental to contract administration, such as financial, administrative, cost or pricing or management information.

“Form, fit, and function data” means data relating to items, components, or processes that are sufficient to enable physical and functional interchangeability, and data identifying source, size, configuration, mating and attachment characteristics, functional characteristics, and performance requirements. For computer software it means data identifying source, functional characteristics, and performance requirements, but specifically excludes the source code, algorithms, processes, formulas, and flow charts of the software.

“Limited rights” means the rights of the Government in limited rights data, as set forth in a Limited Rights Notice.

“Limited rights data” means data, other than computer software, that embody trade secrets or are commercial or financial and confidential or privileged, to the extent that such data pertain to items, components, or processes developed at private expense, including minor modifications. (Agencies may, however, adopt the following alternate definition: “Limited rights data” means data (other than computer software) developed at private expense that embody trade secrets or are commercial or financial and confidential or privileged (see 27.404-2(b)).

“Restricted computer software” means computer software developed at private expense and that is a trade secret; is commercial or financial and confidential or privileged; or is copyrighted computer software; including minor modifications of such computer software.

“Restricted rights” means the rights of the Government in restricted computer software as set forth in a Restricted Rights Notice.

“Unlimited rights” means the rights of the Government to use, disclose, reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, and perform publicly and display publicly, in any manner and for any purpose, and to have or permit others to do so.

27.402 -- Policy.

(a) To carry out their missions and programs, agencies acquire or obtain access to many kinds of data produced during or used in the performance of their contracts. Agencies require data to—

(b) Contractors may have proprietary interests in data. In order to prevent the compromise of these interests, agencies shall protect proprietary data from unauthorized use and disclosure. The protection of such data is also necessary to encourage qualified contractors to participate in and apply innovative concepts to Government programs. In light of these considerations, agencies shall balance the Government's needs and the contractor’s legitimate proprietary interests.

27.403 -- Data Rights -- General.

All contracts that require data to be produced, furnished, acquired or used in meeting contract performance requirements, must contain terms that delineate the respective rights and obligations of the Government and the contractor regarding the use, reproduction, and disclosure of that data. Data rights clauses do not specify the type, quantity or quality of data that is to be delivered, but only the respective rights of the Government and the contractor regarding the use, disclosure, or reproduction of the data. Accordingly, the contract shall specify the data to be delivered.

27.404 -- Basic Rights in Data Clause.

(a) This section describes the operation of the clause at 52.227-14, Rights in Data--General, and also the use of the provision at 52.227-15, Representation of Limited Rights Data and Restricted Computer Software.

27.404-1 – Unlimited Rights Data.

The Government acquires unlimited rights in the following data except for copyrighted works as provided in 27.404-3:

(a) Data first produced in the performance of a contract (except to the extent the data constitute minor modifications to data that are limited rights data or restricted computer software).

(b) Form, fit, and function data delivered under contract.

(c) Data (except as may be included with restricted computer software) that constitute manuals or instructional and training material for installation, operation, or routine maintenance and repair of items, components, or processes delivered or furnished for use under a contract.

(d) All other data delivered under the contract other than limited rights data or restricted computer software (see 27.404-2).

27.404-2 -- Limited Rights Data and Restricted Computer Software.

(a) General. The basic clause at 52.227-14, Rights in Data--General, enables the contractor to protect qualifying limited rights data and restricted computer software by withholding the data from the Government and instead delivering form, fit, and function data.

(b) Alternate definition of limited rights data. For contracts that do not require the development, use, or delivery of items, components, or processes that are intended to be acquired by or for the Government, an agency may adopt the alternate definition of limited rights data set forth in Alternate I to the clause at 52.227-14. The alternate definition does not require that the data pertain to items, components, or processes developed at private expense; but rather that the data were developed at private expense and embody a trade secret or are commercial or financial and confidential or privileged.

(c) Protection of limited rights data specified for delivery.

(d) Protection of restricted computer software specified for delivery.

27.404-3 -- Copyrighted Works.

(a) Data first produced in the performance of a contract.

(b) Data not first produced in the performance of a contract.

27.404-4 -- Contractor's Release, Publication, and Use of Data.

(a) In contracts for basic or applied research with universities or colleges, agencies shall not place any restrictions on the conduct of or reporting on the results of unclassified basic or applied research, except as provided in applicable U.S. statutes. However, agencies may restrict the release or disclosure of computer software that is or is intended to be developed to the point of practical application (including for agency distribution under established programs). This is not considered a restriction on the reporting of the results of basic or applied research. Agencies may also preclude a contractor from asserting copyright in any computer software for purposes of established agency distribution programs, or where required to accomplish the purpose for which the software is acquired.

(b) Except for the results of basic or applied research under contracts with universities or colleges, agencies may, to the extent provided in their FAR supplements, place limitations or restrictions on the contractor's exercise of its rights in data first produced in the performance of the contract, including a requirement to assign copyright to the Government or another party. Any of these restrictions shall be expressly included in the contract.

27.404-5 -- Unauthorized, Omitted, or Incorrect Markings.

(a) Unauthorized marking of data.

(b) Omitted or incorrect notices.

27.404-6 -- Inspection of Data at the Contractor’s Facility.

Contracting officers may obtain the right to inspect data at the contractor's facility by use of the clause at 52.227-14 with its Alternate V, which adds paragraph (j) to provide that right. Agencies may also adopt Alternate V for general use. The data subject to inspection may be data withheld or withholdable under paragraph (g)(1) of the clause. Inspection may be made by the contracting officer or designee (including nongovernmental personnel under the same conditions as the contracting officer) for the purpose of verifying a contractor's assertion regarding the limited rights or restricted rights status of the data, or for evaluating work performance under the contract. This right may be exercised up to 3 years after acceptance of all items to be delivered under the contract. The contract may specify data items that are not subject to inspection under paragraph (j) of the Alternate. If the contractor demonstrates to the contracting officer that there would be a possible conflict of interest if inspection were made by a particular representative, the contracting officer shall designate an alternate representative.

27.405 -- Other Data Rights Provisions.

27.405-1 -- Special Works.

(a) The clause at 52.227-17, Rights in Data--Special Works, is for use in contracts (or may be made applicable to portions thereof) that are primarily for the production or compilation of data (other than limited rights data or restricted computer software) for the Government's own use, or when there is a specific need to limit distribution and use of the data or to obtain indemnity for liabilities that may arise out of the content, performance, or disclosure of the data. Examples are contracts for—

(b) The contract may specify the purposes and conditions (including time limitations) under which the data may be used, released, or reproduced other than for contract performance. Contracts for the production of audiovisual works, sound recordings, etc., may include limitations in connection with talent releases, music licenses, and the like that are consistent with the purposes for which the works are acquired.

(c) Paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of the clause, which enables the Government to obtain assignment of copyright in any data first produced in the performance of the contract, may be deleted if the contracting officer determines that such assignment is not needed to further the objectives of the contract.

(d) Paragraph (e) of the clause, which requires the contractor to indemnify the Government against any liability incurred as the result of any violation of trade secrets, copyrights, right of privacy or publicity, or any libelous or other unlawful matter arising out of or contained in any production or compilation of data that are subject to the clause, may be deleted or limited in scope where the contracting officer determines that, because of the nature of the particular data involved, such liability will not arise.

(e) When the audiovisual or other special works are produced to accomplish a public purpose other than acquisition for the Government's own use (such as for production and distribution to the public of the works by other than a Federal agency) agencies are authorized to modify the clause for use in contracts, with rights in data provisions that meet agency mission needs yet protect free speech and freedom of expression, as well as the artistic license of the creator of the work.

27.405-2 -- Existing Works.

The clause at 52.227-18, Rights in Data--Existing Works, is for use in contracts exclusively for the acquisition (without modification) of existing works such as, motion pictures, television recordings, and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; musical, dramatic, and literary works; pantomimes and choreographic works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; and works of a similar nature. The contract may set forth limitations consistent with the purposes for which the works covered by the contract are being acquired. Examples of these limitations are means of exhibition or transmission, time, type of audience, and geographical location. However, if the contract requires that works of the type indicated in this paragraph are to be modified through editing, translation, or addition of subject matter, etc. (rather than purchased in existing form), then see 27.405-1.

27.405-3 Commercial computer software.

(a) When contracting other than from GSA's Multiple Award Schedule contracts for the acquisition of commercial computer software, no specific contract clause prescribed in this subpart need be used, but the contract shall specifically address the Government's rights to use, disclose, modify, distribute, and reproduce the software. Section 12.212 sets forth the guidance for the acquisition of commercial computer software and states that commercial computer software or commercial computer software documentation shall be acquired under licenses customarily provided to the public to the extent the license is consistent with Federal law and otherwise satisfies the Government's needs. The clause at 52.227-19, Commercial Computer Software License, may be used when there is any confusion as to whether the Government's needs are satisfied or whether a customary commercial license is consistent with Federal law. Additional or lesser rights may be negotiated using the guidance concerning restricted rights as set forth in 27.404-2(d), or the clause at 52.227-19. If greater rights than the minimum rights identified in the clause at 52.227-19 are needed, or lesser rights are to be acquired, they shall be negotiated and set forth in the contract. This includes any additions to, or limitations on, the rights set forth in paragraph (b) of the clause at 52.227-19 when used. Examples of greater rights may be those necessary for networking purposes or use of the software from remote terminals communicating with a host computer where the software is located. If the computer software is to be acquired with unlimited rights, the contract shall also so state. In addition, the contract shall adequately describe the computer programs and/or databases, the media on which it is recorded, and all the necessary documentation.

(b) If the contract incorporates, makes reference to, or uses a vendor's standard commercial lease, license, or purchase agreement, the contracting officer shall ensure that the agreement is consistent with paragraph (a)(1) of this subsection. The contracting officer should exercise caution in accepting a vendor's terms and conditions, since they may be directed to commercial sales and may not be appropriate for Government contracts. Any inconsistencies in a vendor's standard commercial agreement shall be addressed in the contract and the contract terms shall take precedence over the vendor's standard commercial agreement. If the clause at 52.227-19 is used, inconsistencies in the vendor's standard commercial agreement regarding the Government's right to use, reproduce or disclose the computer software are reconciled by that clause.

(c) If a prime contractor under a contract containing the clause at 52.227-14, Rights in Data--General, with paragraph (g)(4) (Alternate III) in the clause, acquires restricted computer software from a subcontractor (at any tier) as a separate acquisition for delivery to or for use on behalf of the Government, the contracting officer may approve any additions to, or limitations on the restricted rights in the Restricted Rights Notice of paragraph (g)(4) in a collateral agreement incorporated in and made part of the contract.

27.405-4 -- Other Existing Data.

(a) Except for existing works pursuant to 27.405-2 or commercial computer software pursuant to 27.405-3, no clause contained in this subpart is required to be included in—

(b) If the reproduction rights to the data are to be obtained in any contract of the type described in paragraph (b)(1) (i) or (ii) of this section, the rights shall be specifically set forth in the contract. No clause contained in this subpart is required to be included in contracts substantially for on-line data base services in the same form as they are normally available to the general public.

27.406 -- Acquisition of Data.

27.406-1 – General.

(a) It is the Government’s practice to determine, to the extent feasible, its data requirements in time for inclusion in solicitations. The data requirements may be subject to revision during contract negotiations. Since the preparation, reformatting, maintenance and updating, cataloging, and storage of data represents an expense to both the Government and the contractor, efforts should be made to keep the contract data requirements to a minimum, consistent with the purposes of the contract.

(b) The contracting officer shall specify in the contract all known data requirements, including the time and place for delivery and any limitations and restrictions to be imposed on the contractor in the handling of the data. Further, and to the extent feasible, in major system acquisitions, the contracting officer shall set out data requirements as separate contract line items. In establishing the contract data requirements and in specifying data items to be delivered by a contractor, agencies may, consistent with paragraph (a) of this subsection, develop their own contract schedule provisions. Agency procedures may, among other things, provide for listing, specifying, identifying source, assuring delivery, and handling any data required to be delivered, first produced, or specifically used in the performance of the contract.

(c) Data delivery requirements should normally not require that a contractor provide the Government, as a condition of the procurement, unlimited rights in data that qualify as limited rights data or restricted computer software. Rather, form, fit, and function data may be furnished with unlimited rights instead of the qualifying data, or the qualifying data may be furnished with limited rights or restricted rights if needed (see 27.404-2(c) and (d)). If greater rights are needed, they should be clearly set forth in the solicitation and the contractor fairly compensated for the greater rights.

27.406-2 -- Additional Data Requirements.

(a) In some contracting situations, such as experimental, developmental, research, or demonstration contracts, it may not be feasible to ascertain all the data requirements at contract award. The clause at 52.227-16, Additional Data Requirements, may be used to enable the subsequent ordering by the contracting officer of additional data first produced or specifically used in the performance of these contracts as the actual requirements become known. The clause shall normally be used in solicitations and contracts involving experimental, developmental, research or demonstration work (other than basic or applied research to be performed under a contract solely by a university or college when the contract amount will be $500,000 or less) unless all the requirements for data are believed to be known at the time of contracting and specified in the contract. If the contract is for basic or applied research to be performed by a university or college, and the contracting officer believes the contract effort will in the future exceed $500,000, even though the initial award does not, the contracting officer may include the clause in the initial award.

(b) Data may be ordered under the clause at 52.227-16 at any time during contract performance or within a period of 3 years after acceptance of all items to be delivered under the contract. The contractor is to be compensated for converting the data into the prescribed form, for reproduction, and for delivery. In order to minimize storage costs for the retention of data, the contracting officer may relieve the contractor of the retention requirements for specified data items at any time during the retention period required by the clause. The contracting officer may permit the contractor to identify and specify in the contract data not to be ordered for delivery under the clause if the data is not necessary to meet the Government's requirements for data. Also, the contracting officer may alter the clause by deleting the term ``or specifically used'' in paragraph (a) of the clause if delivery of the data is not necessary to meet the Government's requirements for data. Any data ordered under this clause will be subject to the clause at 52.227-14, Rights in Data--General, (or other equivalent clause setting forth the respective rights of the Government and the contractor) in the contract. Data authorized to be withheld under such clause will not be required to be delivered under the clause at 52.227-16, except as provided in Alternate II or Alternate III, if included (see 27.404-2(c) and (d)).

(c) Absent an established program for dissemination of computer software, agencies should not order additional computer software under the clause at 52.227-16, for the sole purpose of disseminating or marketing the software to the public. In ordering software for internal purposes, the contracting officer shall consider, consistent with the Government's needs, not ordering particular source codes, algorithms, processes, formulas, or flow charts of the software if the contractor shows that this aids its efforts to disseminate or market the software.

27.406-3 -- Major System Acquisition.

(a) The clause at 52.227-21, Technical Data Declaration, Revision, and Withholding of Payment--Major Systems, implements 41 U.S.C. 2302(e). When using the clause at 52.227-21, the section of the contract specifying data delivery requirements (see 27.406-1(b)) shall expressly identify those line items of technical data to which the clause applies. Upon delivery of the technical data, the contracting officer shall review the technical data and the contractor's declaration relating to it to assure that the data are complete, accurate, and comply with contract requirements. If the data are not complete, accurate, or compliant, the contracting officer should request the contractor to correct the deficiencies, and may withhold payment. Final payment shall not be made under the contract until it has been determined that the delivery requirements of those line items of data to which the clause applies have been satisfactorily met.

(b) In a contract for, or in support of, a major system awarded by a civilian agency other than NASA or the U.S. Coast Guard, the following applies:

27.407 -- Rights to Technical Data in Successful Proposals.

The clause at 52.227-23, Rights to Proposal Data (Technical), allows the Government to acquire unlimited rights to technical data in successful proposals. Pursuant to the clause, the prospective contractor is afforded the opportunity to specifically identify pages containing technical data to be excluded from the grant of unlimited rights. This exclusion is not dispositive of the protective status of the data, but any excluded technical data, as well as any commercial and financial information contained in the proposal, will remain subject to the policies in Subpart 15.2 or 15.6 (or agency supplements) relating to proposal information (e.g., will be used for evaluation purposes only). If there is a need to have access to any of the excluded technical data during contract performance, consideration should be given to acquiring the data with limited rights, if they so qualify, in accordance with 27.404-2 (c).

27.408 -- Cosponsored Research and Development Activities.

(a) In contracts involving cosponsored research and development that require the contractor to make substantial contributions of funds or resources (e.g., by cost-sharing or by repayment of nonrecurring costs), and the contractor's and the Government's respective contributions to any item, component, process, or computer software, developed or produced under the contract are not readily segregable, the contracting officer may limit the acquisition of, or acquire less than unlimited rights to, any data developed and delivered under the contract. Agencies may regulate the use of this authority in their supplements. Lesser rights shall, at a minimum, assure use of the data for agreed-to Governmental purposes (including reprocurement rights as appropriate), and address any disclosure limitations or restrictions to be imposed on the data. Also, consideration may be given to requiring the contractor to directly license others if needed to carry out the objectives of the contract. Since the purpose of the cosponsored research and development, the legitimate proprietary interests of the contractor, the needs of the Government, and the respective contributions of both parties may vary, no specific clauses are prescribed, but a clause providing less than unlimited rights in the Government for data developed and delivered under the contract (such as license rights) may be tailored to the circumstances consistent with the foregoing and the policy set forth in 27.402. As a guide, a clause may be appropriate when the contractor contributes money or resources, or agrees to make repayment of nonrecurring costs, of a value of approximately 50 percent of the total cost of the contract (i.e., Government, contractor, and/or third party paid costs), and the respective contributions are not readily segregable for any work element to be performed under the contract. A clause may be used for all or for only specifically identified tasks or work elements under the contract. In the latter instance, its use will be in addition to whatever other data rights clause is prescribed under this subpart, with the contract specifically identifying which clause is to apply to which tasks or work elements. Further, this type of clause may not be appropriate where the purpose of the contract is to produce data for dissemination to the public, or to develop or demonstrate technologies that will be available, in any event, to the public for its direct use.

(b) Where the contractor's contributions are readily segregable (by performance requirements and the funding for the contract) and so identified in the contract, any resulting data may be treated under this clause as limited rights data or restricted computer software in accordance with 27.404-2(c) or (d), as applicable; or if this treatment is inconsistent with the purpose of the contract, rights to the data may, if so negotiated and stated in the contract, be treated in a manner consistent with paragraph (a) of this section.

27.409 -- Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses.

(a) Generally, a contract should contain only one data rights clause. However, where more than one is needed, the contract should distinguish the portion of contract performance to which each pertains.

(b)

(c) In accordance with 27.404-2(c)(2) and 27.404-2(d)(5), if the contracting officer desires to have an offeror state in response to a solicitation whether limited rights data or restricted computer software are likely to be used in meeting the data delivery requirements set forth in the solicitation, insert the provision at 52.227-15, Representation of Limited Rights Data and Restricted Computer Software, in any solicitation containing the clause at 52.227-14, Rights in Data--General. The contractor's response may provide an aid in determining whether the clause should be used with Alternate II and/or Alternate III.

(d) Insert the clause at 52.227-16, Additional Data Requirements, in solicitations and contracts involving experimental, developmental, research, or demonstration work (other than basic or applied research to be performed solely by a university or college where the contract amount will be $500,000 or less) unless all the requirements for data are believed to be known at the time of contracting and specified in the contract (see 27.406-2). This clause may also be used in other contracts when considered appropriate. For example, if the contract is for basic or applied research to be performed by a university or college, and the contracting officer believes the contract effort will in the future exceed $500,000, even though the initial award does not, the contracting officer may include the clause in the initial award.

(e) In accordance with 27.405-1, insert the clause at 52.227-17, Rights in Data--Special Works, in solicitations and contracts primarily for the production or compilation of data (other than limited rights data or restricted computer software) for the Government's internal use, or when there is a specific need to limit distribution and use of the data or to obtain indemnity for liabilities that may arise out of the content, performance, or disclosure of the data. Examples of such contracts are set forth in 27.405-1.

(f) Insert the clause at 52.227-18, Rights in Data--Existing Works, in solicitations and contracts exclusively for the acquisition, without modification, of existing audiovisual and similar works of the type set forth in 27.405-2. The contract may set forth limitations consistent with the purposes for which the work is being acquired. While no specific clause of this subpart is required to be included in contracts solely for the acquisition, without disclosure prohibitions, of books, publications, and similar items in the exact form in which the items exist prior to the request for purchase (i.e., the off-the-shelf purchase of such items), or in other contracts where only existing data available without disclosure prohibitions is to be furnished, if reproduction rights are to be acquired, the contract shall include terms addressing such rights. (See 27.405-4.)

(g) In accordance with 27.405-3, when contracting (other than from GSA's Multiple Award Schedule contracts) for the acquisition of commercial computer software, the contracting officer may insert the clause at 52.227-19, Commercial Computer Software License, in the solicitation and contract. In any event, the contracting officer shall assure that the contract contains terms to obtain sufficient rights for the Government to fulfill the need for which the software is being acquired and is otherwise consistent with 27.405-3).

(h) If the contract is a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract, insert the clause at 52.227-20, Rights in Data--SBIR Program in all Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III contracts awarded under the Small Business Innovation Research Program established pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 638. The SBIR protection period may be extended in accordance with the Small Business Administration’s “Small Business Innovation Research Program Policy Directive” (September 24, 2002).

(i) Agencies may prescribe in their procedures, as appropriate, a clause consistent with the policy of 27.402 in contracts—

(j) In accordance with 27.406-3(a), insert the clause at 52.227-21, Technical Data Declaration, Revision, and Withholding of Payment--Major Systems, in contracts for major systems acquisitions or for support of major systems acquisitions. This requirement includes contracts for detailed design, development, or production of a major system and contracts for any individual part, component, subassembly, assembly, or subsystem integral to the major system, and other property that may be replaced during the service life of the system, including spare parts. When used, this clause requires that the technical data to which it applies be specified in the contract (see 27.406-3(a)).

(k) In accordance with 27.406-3(b), in the case of civilian agencies other than NASA and the U.S. Coast Guard, insert the clause at 52.227-22, Major System--Minimum Rights, in contracts for major systems or contracts in support of major systems.

(l) In accordance with 27.407, if a contracting officer desires to acquire unlimited rights in technical data contained in a successful proposal upon which a contract award is based, insert the clause at 52.227-23, Rights to Proposal Data (Technical). Rights to technical data in a proposal are not acquired by mere incorporation by reference of the proposal in the contract, and if a proposal is incorporated by reference, the contracting officer shall follow 27.404 to assure that the rights are appropriately addressed.

Subpart 27.5 – Foreign License and Technical Assistance Agreements.

27.501 – General.

Agencies shall provide necessary policy and procedures regarding foreign technical assistance agreements and license agreements involving intellectual property, including avoiding unnecessary royalty charges.


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