37 CFR 501.9 - Patent protection.
(a) A Government agency, upon determining that an invention coming within the scope of §§ 501.6(a)(1) or (a)(2) has been made, shall promptly determine whether patent protection will be sought in the United States by or on behalf of the agency for such invention. A controversy over the respective rights of the Government and of the employee shall not unnecessarily delay the filing of a patent application by the agency to avoid the loss of patent rights. In cases coming within the scope of § 501.6(a)(2), the filing of a patent application shall be contingent upon the consent of the employee.
(b) Where there is an appealed dispute as to whether §§ 501.6 (a)(1) or (a)(2) applies in determining the respective rights of the Government and of an employee in and to any invention, the agency may determine whether patent protection will be sought in the United States pending the Secretary's decision on the dispute. If the agency decides that an application for patent should be filed, the agency will take such rights as are specified in § 501.6(a)(2), but this shall be without prejudice to acquiring the rights specified in paragraph (a)(1) of that section should the Secretary so decide.
(c) Where an agency has determined to leave title to an invention with an employee under § 501.6(a)(2), the agency will, upon the filing of an application for patent, take the rights specified in that paragraph without prejudice to the subsequent acquisition by the Government of the rights specified in paragraph (a)(1) of that section should the Secretary so decide.
(d) Where an agency has filed a patent application in the United States, the agency will, within 8 months from the filing date of the U.S. application, determine if any foreign patent applications should also be filed. If the agency chooses not to file an application in any foreign country, the employee may request rights in that country subject to the conditions stated in § 501.7(b) that may be imposed by the agency. Alternatively, the agency may permit the employee to retain foreign rights by including in any assignment to the Government of an unclassified U.S. patent application on the invention an option for the Government to acquire title in any foreign country within 8 months from the filing date of the U.S. application.