Intellectual Property Rights and Internal Investigations

If your company delivers technical data to the Department of Defense, you should take a close look at the Federal Circuit’s decision issued yesterday in The Boeing Co. v. Secretary of the Air Force.

The Court acknowledged that contractors may retain ownership and other interests in unlimited rights data, and it held that they may take steps to put third parties on notice of those rights.  In particular, the Court held that, in addition to the standard legends required by the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (“DFARS”), contractors may also include a legend notifying third parties of the contractor’s retained rights.


Continue Reading Technically Still Yours: Court Holds that Contractors May Mark Unlimited Rights Data with a Proprietary Legend

In its Report on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, the Senate Armed Services Committee (the “Committee”) included an “Item of Special Interest” directing the DoD to exercise its rights under the Bayh-Dole Act “to authorize third parties to use inventions that benefited from DOD funding whenever the price of a drug, vaccine, or other medical technology is higher in the United States” as compared to prices in foreign countries.  This directive does not have the force of law, and was included as an item of special interest after an amendment to incorporate the clause into the NDAA failed.  However, it represents an example of efforts to use the Bayh-Dole Act to influence drug product pricing. 
Continue Reading Senate Committee Directs DoD to Reduce Drug Prices

On June 16, 2016, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a proposed rule to implement Section 815 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which was originally enacted in December 2011.  Under the proposed rule, DoD would be given additional flexibility to release technical data or computer software to third parties (including competitors) if the data qualify as “segregation or reintegration” data.  Although the data would include limited-rights data or restricted-rights software, the recipient would be permitted to use the data or software only for segregation or reintegration, and must destroy the data or software at the “completion of authorized activities.”  The rule also permits, among other changes, the DOD to require delivery, without any time limits, of various technical data and software that either have been generated or merely “utilized” in the performance of a contract.  Four years in the making, this proposed rule attempts to implement and clarify statutory changes introduced in section 815 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (the “2012 NDAA”).  Despite the attempt to clarify, the proposed regulations still leave open significant questions for contractors with respect to technical data rights.

Continue Reading DoD Finally Issues Proposed Rule Addressing 2012 NDAA Changes to Technical Data Rights