10 CFR 784.8 - Procedures.
(a) All requests for waivers shall be in writing. Each request for a waiver other than a class waiver shall include the information set forth in § 784.9. Such requests may be submitted by existing or prospective contractors in the case of requests for an advance waiver and by contractors, including successor contractors at a facility, or employee-inventors in the case of requests for waiver of identified inventions.
(b) A request for an advance waiver should be submitted to the Contracting Officer (subcontractors may submit through their prime contractors) at any time prior to execution of the contract or subcontract, or within thirty days thereafter, or within such longer period as may be authorized by Patent Counsel for good cause shown in writing. If the purpose, scope, or cost of the contract is substantially altered by modification or extension after the waiver is granted, a new waiver request will be required. When advance waivers are granted, the provisions of the “Patent Rights - Waiver” clause set forth in § 784.12 shall be used in contracts which are the subject of the waivers, unless modified with the approval of the Patent Counsel to conform to the scope of the waiver granted. (See § 784.12.) Advance waivers may be requested for all inventions which may be conceived or first actually reduced to practice under a DOE contract. An advance waiver may also be requested for an identified invention conceived by the contractor before the contract but which may be first actually reduced to practice under the contract. Such waiver request must include a copy of any patent or patent application covering the identified invention, or if no patent application has been filed, a complete description of the invention.
(c) A request for waiver (other than an advance or class waiver) for an identified invention must be submitted to the Patent Counsel at the time the invention is to be reported to DOE or not later than eight months after conception and/or first actual reduction to practice, whichever occurs first in the course of or under the contract, or such longer period as may be authorized by Patent Counsel for good cause shown in writing by the requestor. The time for submitting a waiver request will not normally be extended past the time the invention has been advertised for licensing by DOE. If the Government has already filed a patent application on the invention, the requestor should indicate whether or not it is willing to reimburse the Government for the costs of searching, prosecution, filing and maintenance fees, in the event the waiver is granted.
(d) If the request for waiver contains insufficient information, the Patent Counsel may seek additional information from the requestor and from other sources. The Patent Counsel will thoroughly analyze the request in view of each of the objectives and considerations and shall also consider the overall rights obtained by the Government in the patent, copyright, and data clauses of the contract. Where it appears that a waiver of a lesser part of the rights of the United States than requested would be more appropriate in view of the policies set forth, the Patent Counsel should attempt to negotiate a compromise acceptable to both the requestor and DOE. If approval of a waiver is recommended, Patent Counsel shall obtain an indication of agreement by the requestor to the proposed waiver scope, terms and conditions.
(e) The Patent Counsel will prepare a Statement of Considerations setting forth the rationale for either approving or denying the waiver request and will forward the Statement to the General Counsel or designee for review thereof. While the Statement need not provide specific findings as to each and every consideration of § 784.4 or § 784.5 of this part, it will cover those that are decisive, and it will explain the basis for the recommended determination. There may be occasions when the application of the various individual considerations of § 784.4 or § 784.5 of this part to a particular case could conflict, and in those instances the conflict will be reconciled giving due regard to the overall policies set forth in 784.3(a) (1) through (4).
(f) The Patent Counsel will also obtain comments from the appropriate DOE program organization to assist the Patent Counsel in the waiver determination. Additionally, if any other Federal Government entity has provided funding or will be providing funding, or if a subject invention has been made in whole or in part by an employee of that entity, Patent Counsel shall obtain permission to waive title to the undivided interest in the invention from the cognizant official of that entity. In situations where time does not permit a delay in contract negotiations for the preparation and mailing of a full written statement, field Patent Counsel may submit a recommendation on the waiver orally to the Assistant General Counsel for Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property, who upon verbal consultation with the appropriate DOE program organization, shall provide a verbal decision to field Patent Counsel. All oral actions shall be promptly confirmed in writing. In approving waiver determinations, the Secretary or designee shall objectively review all requests for waiver in view of the objectives and considerations set forth in §§ 784.3 through 784.6. If the determination and the rationale therefor is not accurately reflected in the Statement of Considerations which has been submitted for approval, a new Statement of Considerations shall be prepared.
(g) In the event that a request for advance waiver is approved after the effective date of the contract, the Patent Counsel shall promptly notify the requestor by letter of the determination and the basis therefor. The letter shall state the scope, terms and conditions of such waiver. If the terms and conditions of an approved advance waiver were not incorporated in the contract when executed, the letter shall inform the requestor that the advance waiver shall be effective as of the effective date of the contract for an advance waiver of inventions identified, i.e., conceived prior to the effective date of the contract, or as of the date the invention is reported with an election by the contractor to retain rights therein, i.e., for an invention conceived or first actually reduced to practice after the effective date of the contract; provided a copy of the letter is signed and returned to the Contracting Officer by the requestor acknowledging the acceptance of the scope, terms and conditions of the advance waiver. After acceptance by the contractor of an advance waiver, the Contracting Officer shall cause a unilateral no-cost modification to be made to the contract incorporating the terms and conditions of the waiver in lieu of previous patent rights provisions.
(h) In the event that a waiver request is denied, the requestor may, within thirty days after notification of the denial, request reconsideration. Such a request shall include any additional facts and rationale not previously submitted which support the request. Request for reconsideration shall be submitted and processed in accordance with the procedures for submitting waiver requests set forth in this section.