10 CFR 784.12 - Terms and conditions of waivers.

§ 784.12 Terms and conditions of waivers.

The terms and conditions for waivers are set forth in the “Patent Rights - Waiver” clause in this section. A waiver of all foreign and domestic patent rights under a contract authorizes the use of this clause with any additions prescribed by the DOE Acquisition Regulations (48 CFR Chapter 9) or the terms of the waiver. This clause shall not be used in contracts with small business firms or nonprofit organizations subject to 35 U.S.C. 200et seq. If a waiver of different scope is granted, the clause shall be modified to conform to the scope of the waiver granted. Advance waivers for arrangements other than contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements may use other clause provisions approved by the Assistant General Counsel for Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property, except that all waivers for funding agreements shall be subject to the license of clause paragraph (b) and the provisions of clause paragraphs (i) and (j). The terms and conditions of the clause shall also constitute the basis for confirmatory licenses regarding waivers of identified inventions. For inventions under advance waivers, a duly executed and approved instrument fully confirmatory of all rights to which the Government is entitled is required to be submitted promptly after filing a patent application thereon. If, however, a waiver request is pending, delivery of the confirmatory instrument may be delayed until a determination on the waiver request is made. In the case of a waiver of an identified invention pursuant to a request for greater rights, the confirmatory instrument shall be agreed to or submitted to Patent Counsel before or at the time the waiver is granted.

Patent Rights - Waiver

Use the clause at 48 CFR 52.227-12 with the following changes:

(1) In paragraph (a) “Definitions” add the following definitions:

Background patent means a domestic patent covering an invention or discovery which is not a Subject Invention and which is owned or controlled by the Contractor at any time through the completion of this contract:

(i) Which the Contractor, but not the Government, has the right to license to others without obligation to pay royalties thereon, and

(ii) Infringement of which cannot reasonably be avoided upon the practice of any specific process, method, machine, manufacture or composition of matter (including relatively minor modifications thereof) which is a subject of the research, development, or demonstration work performed under this contract.

Contract means any contract, grant, agreement, understanding, or other arrangement, which includes research, development, or demonstration work, and includes any assignment or substitution of parties.

DOE patent waiver regulations means the Department of Energy patent waiver regulations at 10 CFR part 784.

Patent Counsel means the Department of Energy Patent Counsel assisting the procuring activity.

Secretary means the Secretary of Energy.

(2) In paragraph (a) in the definition of “Subject invention” substitute: “course of or” for: “performance of work”.

(3) In paragraph (b) “Allocation of principal rights,” add at the beginning of first sentence:

“Whereas DOE has granted a waiver of rights to subject inventions to the Contractor,”.

(4) In paragraph (c)(1), substitute:

“Patent Counsel within six months after conception or first actual reduction to practice, whichever occurs first in the course of or under this contract, but in any event, prior to any sale, public use, or public disclosure of such invention known to the Contractor.” for.

“Contractor officer within 2 months after the inventor discloses it in writing to Contractor Personnel responsible for Patent matters * * * earlier.”

(5) In paragraph (c)(2) add at the end: “The Contractor shall notify the Patent Counsel as to those countries (including the United States) in which the Contractor will retain title not later than 60 days prior to the end of the statutory period.”

(6) In paragraph (c)(3) substitute: “but not later than at least 60 days” for “or, if earlier,”

(7) In paragraph (d) add (d)(5):

“(5) If the waiver authorizing the use of this clause is terminated as provided in paragraph (p) of this clause.”

(8) In paragraph (e)(1) add: “under paragraph (d) of this clause” after “Government obtains title.”

(9) In paragraph (e)(2) substitute “ 37 CFR part 404 and DOE licensing regulations.” for “the Federal Property Management regulations and agency licensing regulations (if any)”

(10) In paragraph (f)(5) substitute “the course of or” for “performance of work”.

(11) In paragraph (g) substitute paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) as follows:

(1) Unless otherwise directed by the Contracting Officer, the Contractor shall include the clause at 48 CFR 952.227-11, suitably modified to identify the parties, in all subcontracts, regardless of tier, for experimental, developmental, or research work to be performed by a small business firm or nonprofit organization, except where the work of the subcontract is subject to an Exceptional Circumstances Determination by DOE. In all other subcontracts, regardless of tier, for experimental, developmental, demonstration, or research work, the Contractor shall include the patent rights clause at 48 CFR 952.227-13 (suitably modified to identify the parties).

(2) The Contractor shall not, as part of the consideration for awarding the subcontract, obtain rights in the subcontractor's subject inventions.

(3) In the case of sub contractors at any tier, Department, the subcontractor, and Contractor agree that the mutual obligations of the parties created by this clause constitute a contract between the subcontractor and the Department with respect to those matters covered by this clause.

(12) Substitute the following for paragraph (k):

(k) Background Patents

(1) The Contractor agrees:

(i) to grant to the Government a royalty-free, nonexclusive license under any Background Patent for purposes of practicing a subject of this contract by or for the Government in research, development, and demonstration work only.

(ii) that, upon written application by DOE, it will grant to responsible parties for purposes of practicing a subject of this contract, nonexclusive licenses under any Background Patent on terms that are reasonable under the circumstances. If, however, the Contractor believes that exclusive or partially exclusive rights are necessary to achieve expeditious commercial development or utilization, then a request may be made to DOE for DOE approval of such licensing by the Contractor.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (k)(1)(ii), the Contractor shall not be obligated to license any Background Patent if the Contractor demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary or his designee that:

(i) a competitive alternative to the subject matter covered by said Background Patent is commercially available from one or more other sources; or

(ii) the Contractor or its licensees are supplying the subject matter covered by said Background Patent in sufficient quantity and at reasonable prices to satisfy market needs, or have taken effective steps or within a reasonable time are expected to take effective steps to so supply the subject matter.

(13) Add new paragraph (l) Communications as follows:

All reports and notifications required by this clause shall be submitted to the Patent Counsel unless otherwise instructed.

(14) In paragraph (m) add to end of sentence: “, except with respect to Background Patents, above.”

(15) In paragraph (n)(4) substitute “conducted in such a manner as” for “subject to appropriate conditions.”

(16) In paragraph (o) add at the end of the parenthetical phrase in the heading to the paragraph: “or grants”.

(17) In paragraph (o) add paragraph (o)(1)(v) as follows:

(v) Convey to the Government, using a DOE-approved form, the title and/or rights of the Government in each subject invention as required by this clause.

(18) In paragraph (o), substitute the following for (o)(3):

(3) Final payment under this contract shall not be made before the Contractor delivers to the Patent Counsel all disclosures of subject inventions required by paragraph (c)(1) of this clause, an acceptable final report pursuant to paragraph (f)(7)(ii) of this clause, and all past due confirmatory instruments, and the Patent Counsel has issued a patent clearance certification to the Contracting Officer.

(19) Add paragraphs (p), (q), (r), and (s) as follows:

(p) Waiver Terminations.

Any waiver granted to the Contractor authorizing the use of this clause (including any retention of rights pursuant thereto by the Contractor under paragraph (b) of this clause) may be terminated at the discretion of the Secretary or his designee in whole or in part, if the request for waiver by the Contractor is found to contain false material statements or nondisclosure of material facts, and such were specifically relied upon by DOE in reaching the waiver determination. Prior to any such termination, the Contractor will be given written notice stating the extent of such proposed termination and the reasons therefor, and a period of 30 days, or such longer period as the Secretary or his designee shall determine for good cause shown in writing, to show cause why the waiver of rights should not be so terminated. Any waiver termination shall be subject to the Contractor's minimum license as provided in paragraph (e) of this clause.

(q) Atomic Energy.

No claim for pecuniary award or compensation under the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, shall be asserted by the Contractor or its employees with respect to any invention or discovery made or conceived in the course of or under this contract.

(r) Publication.

It is recognized that during the course of work under this contract, the Contractor or its employees may from time to time desire to release or publish information regarding scientific or technical developments conceived or first actually reduced to practice in the course of or under this contract. In order that public disclosure of such information will not adversely affect the patent interests of DOE or the Contractor, approval for release of publication shall be secured from Patent Counsel prior to any such release or publication. In appropriate circumstances, and after consultation with the Contractor, Patent Counsel may waive the right of prepublication review.

(s) Forfeiture of rights in unreported subject inventions.

(1) The Contractor shall forfeit and assign to the Government, at the request of the Secretary of Energy or designee, all rights in any subject invention which the Contractor fails to report to Patent Counsel within six months after the time the Contractor:

(i) Files or causes to be filed a United States or foreign patent application thereon; or

(ii) Submits the final report required by paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this clause, whichever is later.

(2) However, the Contractor shall not forfeit rights in a subject invention if, within the time specified in paragraph (m)(1) of this clause, the Contractor:

(i) Prepares a written decision based upon a review of the record that the invention was neither conceived nor first actually reduced to practice in the course of or under the contract and delivers the decision to Patent Counsel, with a copy to the Contracting Officer; or

(ii) Contending that the subject invention is not a subject invention, the Contractor nevertheless discloses the subject invention and all facts pertinent to this contention to the Patent Counsel, with a copy to the Contracting Officer, or

(iii) Establishes that the failure to disclose did not result from the Contractor's fault or negligence.

(3) Pending written assignment of the patent application and patents on a subject invention determined by the Contracting Officer to be forfeited (such determination to be a Final Decision under the Disputes clause of this contract), the Contractor shall be deemed to hold the invention and the patent applications and patents pertaining thereto in trust for the Government. The forfeiture provision of this paragraph shall be in addition to and shall not supersede any other rights and remedies which the Government may have with respect to subject inventions.

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