48 CFR § 970.5227-11 - Patent rights - management and operating contracts, for-profit contractor, non-technology transfer.
Insert the following clause in solicitations and contracts in accordance with 970.2703-1(b)(4):
(1) DOE licensing regulations means the Department of Energy patent licensing regulations at 10 CFR part 781.
(2) DOE patent waiver regulations means the Department of Energy patent waiver regulations at 10 CFR part 784.
(3) Invention means any invention or discovery which is or may be patentable or otherwise protectable under title 35 of the United States Code, or any novel variety of plant which is or may be protected under the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2321, et seq.).
(4) Made when used in relation to any invention means the conception or first actual reduction to practice of such invention.
(5) Patent Counsel means DOE Patent Counsel assisting the contracting activity.
(6) Practical application means to manufacture, in the case of a composition or product; to practice, in the case of a process or method; or to operate, in the case of a machine or system; and, in each case, under such conditions as to establish that the invention is being utilized and that its benefits are, to the extent permitted by law or Government regulations, available to the public on reasonable terms.
(7) Subject invention means any invention of the contractor conceived or first actually reduced to practice in the course of or under this contract, provided that in the case of a variety of plant, the date of determination (as defined in section 41(d) of the Plant Variety Protection Act, 7 U.S.C. 2401(d)) shall also occur during the period of contract performance.
(b) Allocation of principal rights -
(1) Assignment to the Government. Except to the extent that rights are retained by the Contractor by a determination of greater rights in accordance with subparagraph (b)(2) of this clause or by a request for foreign patent rights in accordance with subparagraph (d)(2) of this clause, the Contractor agrees to assign to the Government the entire right, title, and interest throughout the world in and to each subject invention.
(2) Greater rights determinations. The Contractor, or an Contractor employee-inventor after consultation with the Contractor and with the written authorization of the Contractor in accordance with DOE patent waiver regulations, may request greater rights, including title, in an identified subject invention than the nonexclusive license and the foreign patent rights provided for in paragraph (d) of this clause, in accordance with the DOE patent waiver regulations. Such a request shall be submitted in writing to Patent Counsel with a copy to the Contracting Officer at the time the subject invention is first disclosed to DOE in accordance with subparagraph (c)(2) of this clause, or not later than eight (8) months after such disclosure, unless a longer period is authorized in writing by the Contracting Officer for good cause shown in writing by the Contractor. DOE may grant or refuse to grant such a request by the Contractor or Contractor employee-inventor. Unless otherwise provided in the greater rights determination, any rights in a subject invention obtained by the Contractor pursuant to a determination of greater rights are subject to a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license to the Government to practice or have practiced the subject invention throughout the world by or on behalf of the Government of the United States (including any Government agency), and to any reservations and conditions deemed appropriate by the Secretary of Energy or designee.
(c) Subject invention disclosures -
(1) Contractor procedures for reporting subject inventions to Contractor personnel. Subject inventions shall be reported to Contractor personnel responsible for patent matters within six (6) months of conception and/or first actual reduction to practice, whichever occurs first in the performance of work under this contract. Accordingly, the Contractor shall establish and maintain effective procedures for ensuring such prompt identification and timely disclosure of subject inventions to Contractor personnel responsible for patent matters, and the procedures shall include the maintenance of laboratory notebooks, or equivalent records, and other records that are reasonably necessary to document the conception and/or the first actual reduction to practice of subject inventions, and the maintenance of records demonstrating compliance with such procedures. The Contractor shall submit a written description of such procedures to the Contracting Officer, upon request, for evaluation of the effectiveness of such procedures by the Contracting Officer.
(2) Subject invention disclosure. The Contractor shall disclose each subject invention to Patent Counsel with a copy to the Contracting Officer within two (2) months after the subject invention is reported to Contractor personnel responsible for patent matters, in accordance with subparagraph (c)(1) of this clause, or, if earlier, within six (6) months after the Contractor has knowledge of the subject invention, but in any event before any on sale, public use, or publication of the subject invention. The disclosure to DOE shall be in the form of a written report and shall include:
(i) The contract number under which the subject invention was made;
(ii) The inventor(s) of the subject invention;
(iii) A description of the subject invention in sufficient technical detail to convey a clear understanding of the nature, purpose and operation of the subject invention, and of the physical, chemical, biological or electrical characteristics of the subject invention, to the extent known by the Contractor at the time of the disclosure;
(iv) The date and identification of any publication, on sale or public use of the invention;
(v) The date and identification of any submissions for publication of any manuscripts describing the invention, and a statement of whether the manuscript is accepted for publication, to the extent known by the Contractor at the time of the disclosure;
(vi) A statement indicating whether the subject invention concerns exceptional circumstances pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 202(ii), related to national security, or subject to a treaty or an international agreement, to the extent known or believed by Contractor at the time of the disclosure;
(vii) All sources of funding by Budget and Resources (B&R) code; and
(viii) The identification of any agreement relating to the subject invention, including Cooperative Research and Development Agreements and Strategic Partnership Projects agreements. Unless the Contractor contends otherwise in writing at the time the invention is disclosed, inventions disclosed to DOE under this paragraph are deemed made in the manner specified in Sections (a)(1) and (a)(2) of 42 U.S.C. 5908.
(3) Publication after disclosure. After disclosure of the subject invention to the DOE, the Contractor shall promptly notify Patent Counsel of the acceptance for publication of any manuscript describing the subject invention or of any expected or on sale or public use of the subject invention, known by the Contractor.
(4) Contractor employee agreements. The Contractor agrees to require, by written agreement, its employees, other than clerical and nontechnical employees, to disclose promptly in writing to Contractor personnel identified as responsible for the administration of patent matters and in a format suggested by the Contractor, each subject invention made under this contract, and to execute all papers necessary to file patent applications claiming subject inventions or to establish the Government's rights in the subject inventions. This disclosure format shall at a minimum include the information required by subparagraph (c)(2) of this clause. The Contractor shall instruct such employees, through employee agreements or other suitable educational programs, on the importance of reporting inventions in sufficient time to permit the filing of patent applications prior to U.S. or foreign statutory bars.
(5) Contractor procedures for reporting subject inventions to DOE. The Contractor agrees to establish and maintain effective procedures for ensuring the prompt identification and timely disclosure of subject inventions to DOE. The Contractor shall submit a written description of such procedures to the Contracting Officer, upon request, for evaluation of the effectiveness of such procedures by the Contracting Officer.
(6) Duplication and disclosure of documents. The Government may duplicate and disclose subject invention disclosures and all other reports and papers furnished or required to be furnished pursuant to this clause; provided, however, that any such duplication or disclosure by the Government is subject to 35 U.S.C. 205 and 37 CFR 401.13.
(d) Minimum rights of the Contractor -
(1) Contractor License -
(i) Request for a Contractor license. Except for subject inventions that the Contractor fails to disclose within the time periods specified at subparagraph (c)(2) of this clause, the Contractor may request a revocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free license in each patent application filed in any country claiming a subject invention and any resulting patent in which the Government obtains title, and DOE may grant or refuse to grant such a request by the Contractor. If DOE grants the Contractor's request for a license, the Contractor's license extends to its domestic subsidiaries and affiliates, if any, within the corporate structure of which the Contractor is a party and includes the right to grant sublicenses of the same scope to the extent the Contractor was legally obligated to do so at the time the contract was awarded.
(ii) Transfer of a Contractor license. DOE shall approve any transfer of the Contractor's license in a subject invention, and DOE may determine the Contractor's license is non-transferrable, on a case-by-case basis.
(iii) Revocation or modification of a Contractor license. DOE may revoke or modify the Contractor's domestic license to the extent necessary to achieve expeditious practical application of the subject invention pursuant to an application for an exclusive license submitted in accordance with applicable provisions in 37 CFR Part 404 and DOE licensing regulations. DOE may not revoke the Contractor's domestic license in that field of use or the geographical areas in which the Contractor, its licensee, or its domestic subsidiaries or affiliates achieved practical applications and continues to make the benefits of the invention reasonably accessible to the public. DOE may revoke or modify the Contractor's license in any foreign country to the extent the Contractor, its licensees, or its domestic subsidiaries or affiliates failed to achieve practical application in that foreign country.
(iv) Notice of revocation or modification of a Contractor license. Before revocation or modification of the license, DOE shall furnish the Contractor a written notice of its intention to revoke or modify the license, and the Contractor shall be allowed thirty (30) days from the date of the notice (or such other time as may be authorized by DOE for good cause shown by the Contractor) to show cause why the license should not be revoked or modified. The Contractor has the right to appeal any decision concerning the revocation or modification of its license, in accordance with applicable regulations in 37 CFR part 404 and DOE licensing regulations.
(2) Contractor's right to request foreign patent rights. If the Government has title to a subject invention and the Government decides against securing patent rights in a foreign country for the subject invention, the Contractor may request such foreign patent rights from DOE, and DOE may grant the Contractor's request, subject to a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license to the Government to practice or have practiced the subject invention in the foreign country, and any reservations and conditions deemed appropriate by the Secretary of Energy or designee. Such a request shall be submitted in writing to the Patent Counsel as part of the disclosure required by subparagraph (c)(2) of this clause, with a copy to the DOE Contracting Officer, unless a longer period is authorized in writing by the Contracting Officer for good cause shown in writing by the Contractor. DOE may grant or refuse to grant such a request, and may consider whether granting the Contractor's request best serves the interests of the United States.
(e) Examination of records relating to inventions -
(1) Contractor compliance. Until the expiration of three (3) years after final payment under this contract, the Contracting Officer or any authorized representative may examine any books (including laboratory notebooks), records, and documents and other supporting data of the Contractor, which the Contracting Officer or authorized representative deems reasonably pertinent to the discovery or identification of subject inventions, or to determine Contractor (and inventor) compliance with the requirements of this clause, including proper identification and disclosure of subject inventions, and establishment and maintenance of invention disclosure procedures.
(2) Unreported inventions. If the Contracting Officer is aware of an invention that is not disclosed by the Contractor to DOE, and the Contracting Officer believes the unreported invention may be a subject invention, DOE may require the Contractor to submit to DOE a disclosure of the invention for a determination of ownership rights.
(3) Confidentiality. Any examination of records under this paragraph is subject to appropriate conditions to protect the confidentiality of the information involved.
(f) Subcontracts -
(1) Subcontractor subject inventions. The Contractor shall not obtain rights in the subcontractor's subject inventions as part of the consideration for awarding a subcontract.
(2) Inclusion of patent rights clause - non-profit organization or small business firm subcontractors. Unless otherwise authorized or directed by the Contracting Officer, the Contractor shall include the patent rights clause at 48 CFR 952.227-11, suitably modified to identify the parties in all subcontracts, at any tier, for experimental, developmental, demonstration or research work to be performed by a small business firm or domestic nonprofit organization, except subcontracts which are subject to exceptional circumstances in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 202(a)(ii).
(3) Inclusion of patent rights clause - subcontractors other than non-profit organizations and small business firms. Except for the subcontracts described in subparagraph (f)(2) of this clause, the Contractor shall include the patent rights clause at 48 CFR 952.227-13, suitably modified to identify the parties, in any contract for experimental, developmental, demonstration or research work.
(4) DOE and subcontractor contract. With respect to subcontracts at any tier, DOE, the subcontractor, and the Contractor agree that the mutual obligations of the parties created by this clause constitute a contract between the subcontractor and DOE with respect to those matters covered by this clause.
(5) Subcontractor refusal to accept terms of patent rights clause. If a prospective subcontractor refuses to accept the terms of a patent rights clause, the Contractor shall promptly submit a written notice to the Contracting Officer stating the subcontractor's reasons for such a refusal, including any relevant information for expediting disposition of the matter, and the Contractor shall not proceed with the subcontract without the written authorization of the Contracting Officer.
(6) Notification of award of subcontract. Upon the award of any subcontract at any tier containing a patent rights clause, the Contractor shall promptly notify the Contracting Officer in writing and identify the subcontractor, the applicable patent rights clause, the work to be performed under the subcontract, and the dates of award and estimated completion. Upon request of the Contracting Officer, the Contractor shall furnish a copy of a subcontract.
(7) Identification of subcontractor subject inventions. If the Contractor in the performance of this contract becomes aware of a subject invention made under a subcontract, the Contractor shall promptly notify Patent Counsel and identify the subject invention, with a copy of the notification and identification to the Contracting Officer.
(g) Atomic energy -
(1) Pecuniary awards. No claim for pecuniary award of compensation under the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, may be asserted with respect to any invention or discovery made or conceived in the course of or under this contract.
(2) Patent agreements. Except as otherwise authorized in writing by the Contracting Officer, the Contractor shall obtain patent agreements to effectuate the provisions of subparagraph (g)(1) of this clause from all persons who perform any part of the work under this contract, except nontechnical personnel, such as clerical employees and manual laborers.
(h) Publication. The Contractor shall receive approval from Patent Counsel prior to releasing or publishing information regarding scientific or technical developments conceived or first actually reduced to practice in the course of or under this contract, to ensure such release or publication does not adversely affect the patent interests of DOE or the Contractor.
(i) Communications. The Contractor shall direct any notification, disclosure, or request provided for in this clause to the Patent Counsel assisting the DOE contracting activity, with a copy of the communication to the Contracting Officer.
(j) Reports -
(1) Interim reports. Upon DOE's request, the Contractor shall submit to DOE, no more frequently than annually, a list of subject inventions disclosed to DOE during a specified period, or a statement that no subject inventions were made during the specified period; and/or a list of subcontracts containing a patent clause and awarded by the Contractor during a specified period, or a statement that no such subcontracts were awarded during the specified period. The interim report shall state whether the Contractor's invention disclosures were submitted to DOE in accordance with the requirements of subparagraphs (c)(1) and (c)(5) of this clause.
(2) Final reports. Upon DOE's request, the Contractor shall submit to DOE, prior to closeout of the contract or within three (3) months of the date of completion of the contracted work, a list of all subject inventions disclosed during the performance period of the contract, or a statement that no subject inventions were made during the contract performance period; and/or a list of all subcontracts containing a patent clause and awarded by the Contractor during the contract performance period, or a statement that no such subcontracts were awarded during the contract performance period.
(k) Facilities License. In addition to the rights of the parties with respect to inventions or discoveries conceived or first actually reduced to practice in the course of or under this contract, the Contractor agrees to and does hereby grant to the Government an irrevocable, nonexclusive, paid-up license in and to any inventions or discoveries regardless of when conceived or actually reduced to practice or acquired by the contractor at any time through completion of this contract and which are incorporated or embodied in the construction of the facility or which are utilized in the operation of the facility or which cover articles, materials, or products manufactured at the facility (1) to practice or have practiced by or for the Government at the facility, and (2) to transfer such license with the transfer of that facility. Notwithstanding the acceptance or exercise by the Government of these rights, the Government may contest at any time the enforceability, validity or scope of, or title to, any rights or patents herein licensed.
(l) Classified inventions -
(1) Approval for filing a foreign patent application. The Contractor shall not file or cause to be filed an application or registration for a patent disclosing a subject invention related to classified subject matter in any country other than the United States without first obtaining the written approval of the Contracting Officer.
(2) Transmission of classified subject matter. If in accordance with this clause the Contractor files a patent application in the United States disclosing a subject invention that is classified for reasons of security, the Contractor shall observe all applicable security regulations covering the transmission of classified subject matter. If the Contractor transmits a patent application disclosing a classified subject invention to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Contractor shall submit a separate letter to the USPTO identifying the contract or contracts by agency and agreement number that require security classification markings to be placed on the patent application.
(3) Inclusion of clause in subcontracts. The Contractor agrees to include the substance of this clause in subcontracts at any tier that cover or are likely to cover subject matter classified for reasons of security.
(m) Patent functions. Upon the written request of the Contracting Officer or Patent Counsel, the Contractor agrees to make reasonable efforts to support DOE in accomplishing patent-related functions for work arising out of the contract, including, but not limited to, the prosecution of patent applications, and the determination of questions of novelty, patentability, and inventorship.
(n) Annual appraisal by Patent Counsel. Patent Counsel may conduct an annual appraisal to evaluate the Contractor's effectiveness in identifying and protecting subject inventions in accordance with DOE policy.
The following state regulations pages link to this page.