37 CFR 501.6 - Criteria for the determination of rights in and to inventions.
(a) The following rules shall be applied in determining the respective rights of the Government and of the inventor in and to any invention that is subject to the provisions of this part:
(1) The Government shall obtain, except as herein otherwise provided, the entire right, title and interest in and to any invention made by any Government employee:
(i) During working hours, or
(ii) With a contribution by the Government of facilities, equipment, materials, funds or information, or of time or services of other Government employees on official duty, or
(iii) Which bears a direct relation to or is made in consequence of the official duties of the inventor.
(2) In any case where the contribution of the Government, as measured by any one or more of the criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, to the invention is insufficient equitably to justify a requirement of assignment to the Government of the entire right, title and interest in and to such invention, or in any case where the Government has insufficient interest in an invention to obtain the entire right, title and interest therein (although the Government could obtain same under paragraph (a)(1) of this section), the Government agency concerned shall leave title to such invention in the employee, subject however, to the reservation to the Government of a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license in the invention with power to grant licenses for all governmental purposes. The terms of such reservation will appear, where practicable, in any patent, domestic or foreign, which may issue on such invention. Reference is made to section 15 of the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 (15 U.S.C. 3710d) which requires a Government agency to allow the inventor to retain title to any covered invention when the agency does not intend to file a patent application or otherwise promote commercialization.
(3) In applying the provisions of paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section to the facts and circumstances relating to the making of a particular invention, it shall be presumed that an invention made by an employee who is employed or assigned:
(i) To invent or improve or perfect any art or process, machine, design, manufacture, or composition of matter;
(ii) To conduct or perform research, development work, or both,
(iii) To supervise, direct, coordinate, or review Government financed or conducted research, development work, or both, or
(iv) To act in a liaison capacity among governmental or non-governmental agencies or individuals engaged in such research or development work,
(4) In any case wherein the Government neither:
(i) Obtains the entire right, title and interest in and to an invention pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (a)(1) of this section nor
(ii) Reserves a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license in the invention, with power to grant licenses for all governmental purposes, pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (a)(2) of this section,