37 CFR 501.3 - Definitions.
(a) The term Secretary, as used in this part, means the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
(b) The term Government agency, as used in this part, means any Executive department or independent establishment of the Executive branch of the Government (including any independent regulatory commission or board, any corporation wholly owned by the United States, and the Smithsonian Institution), but does not include the Department of Energy for inventions made under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 2182, the Tennessee Valley Authority, or the Postal Service.
(c) The term Government employee, as used in this part, means any officer or employee, civilian or military, of any Government agency, including any special Government employee as defined in 18 U.S.C. 202 or an individual working for a Federal agency pursuant to the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA), 5 U.S.C. 1304 and 3371-3376 3371-3376, or a part-time consultant or part-time employee as defined in 29 U.S.C. 2101(a)(8) except as may otherwise be provided by agency regulation approved by the Secretary.
(d) The term invention, as used in this part, means any art or process, machine, manufacture, design, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, or any variety of plant, which is or may be patentable under the patent laws of the United States.
(e) The term made as used in this part in relation to any invention, means the conception or first actual reduction to practice of such invention as stated in In re King, 3 USPQ2d (BNA) 1747 (Comm'r Pat. 1987).