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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 26, 2014

Title 14Chapter V → Part 1240


Title 14: Aeronautics and Space


PART 1240—INVENTIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS


Contents

Subpart 1—Awards for Scientific and Technical Contributions

§1240.100   Purpose.
§1240.101   Scope.
§1240.102   Definitions.
§1240.103   Criteria.
§1240.104   Applications for awards.
§1240.105   Special initial awards—NASA and NASA contractor employees.
§1240.106   Review and evaluation of contribution.
§1240.107   Notification by the Board.
§1240.108   Reconsideration.
§1240.109   Hearing procedure.
§1240.110   Recommendation to, and action by, the Administrator.
§1240.111   Release
§1240.112   Presentation of awards.
§1240.113   Financial accounting.
§1240.114   Delegation of authority.

Authority: Section 20136 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act (51 U.S.C. 20136), and the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, sec. 12, 15 U.S.C. 3710b(1).

Source: 67 FR 31120, May 9, 2002, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart 1—Awards for Scientific and Technical Contributions

§1240.100   Purpose.

This subpart prescribes procedures for submitting applications for monetary awards to the Administrator of NASA for scientific and technical contributions which have significant value in the conduct of aeronautical and space activities pursuant to 51 U.S.C. 20136, and establishes the awards program consistent with the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, section 12, 15 U.S.C. 3710b(1).

[77 FR 27366, May 10, 2012]

§1240.101   Scope.

This subpart applies to awards for any scientific or technical contribution, whether or not patentable, which is determined by the Administrator after referral to the Inventions and Contributions Board to have significant value in the conduct of aeronautical and space activities, upon submission of an application for award to NASA, or upon the Administrator's own initiative, under 51 U.S.C. 20136.

[77 FR 27366, May 10, 2012]

§1240.102   Definitions.

As used in this subpart:

(a) Administrator means the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

(b) Board means the NASA Inventions and Contributions Board.

(c) Chairperson means the Chairperson of the NASA Inventions and Contributions Board.

(d) Commercial quality refers to computer software that is not in an experimental or beta phase of development, that performs in accordance with its specifications, and includes documentation describing the software's form and function.

(e) Contract means any contract, agreement, understanding, or other arrangement with NASA or another Government Agency on NASA's behalf, including any assignment, substitution of parties, or subcontract executed or entered into thereunder.

(f) Contractor means the party who has undertaken to perform work under a contract or subcontract.

(g) Innovation means a mathematical, engineering or scientific concept, idea, design, process, or product.

(h) Innovator means any person listed as a contributor, inventor, or author of an innovation.

(i) Invention includes any act, method, 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 or any foreign country.

(j) Qualified User means any person that has legally acquired computer software and has the right to use it for a legal purpose.

(k) Verified means passing rigorous testing to ascertain whether the functionality claimed in the innovation's documentation is realized.

[67 FR 31120, May 9, 2002, as amended at 77 FR 27366, May 10, 2012]

§1240.103   Criteria.

(a) Only those contributions to NASA which have been:

(1) Used in a NASA program or adopted or sponsored or supported by NASA, and

(2) Found to have significant value in the conduct of aeronautical and space activities, will be recommended for award under this subpart.

(b) In determining the amount, terms, and conditions of any award, the following criteria will be considered:

(1) The value of the contribution to the United States;

(2) The aggregate amount of any sums which have been expended by the applicant for the development of such contribution;

(3) The amount of any compensation (other than salary received for services rendered as an officer or employee of the Government) previously received by the applicant for or on account of the use of such contributions by the United States; and

(4) Such other factors as the Administrator shall determine to be material.

§1240.104   Applications for awards.

(a) Eligibility. Applications for award may be submitted by any person including any individual, partnership, corporation, association, institution, or other entity. An application for an award under this section is separate from application for an award under §1240.105 and may be submitted whether or not the contribution is also eligible for an award under §1240.105.

(b) Information required. Applications for award should be addressed to the Inventions and Contributions Board (herein referred to as the Board), National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC 20546-0001, and will contain:

(1) The name and address of the applicant, the person's relationship to the contributor if the contribution is made by one other than the applicant, and the names and addresses of any others having information as to the value or usage of the contribution;

(2) A complete written description of the contribution, in the English language, using electronic media, accompanied by drawings, sketches, diagrams, or photographs illustrating the nature of the contribution and the technical and scientific principles upon which it is based, any available test or performance data or observations of pertinent scientific phenomena, and the aeronautics or space application of the contribution;

(3) The date and manner of any previous submittal of the contribution to any other United States Government agency, and the name of such agency;

(4) The aggregate amount of any sums which have been expended by the applicant for the development of the contribution;

(5) The nature and extent of any known use of the contribution by the United States and by any agency of the United States Government;

(6) The amount of any compensation (other than salary received for services rendered as an officer or employee of the Government) previously received by the applicant for or on account of the use of such contribution by the United States;

(7) Identification of any United States and foreign patents applied for or issued relating to the contribution; and

(8) An agreement to surrender all claims which such applicant may have for the use of such contribution by the Government.

(c) General. (1) Each contribution will be made the subject of a separate application in order that each contribution may be evaluated individually.

(2) Material constituting a possible hazard to safety or requiring unusual storage facilities should not be submitted, and will not be accepted. Models or intricate exhibits demonstrating the contribution will not be accepted unless specifically requested by the Board. In those few cases where such models or exhibits have been submitted pursuant to a request made by the Board, the same will be returned to the applicant upon written request from the applicant.

(3) It is the policy of the Board to use or disclose information contained in applications for awards for evaluation purposes only. Applications for awards submitted with restrictive legends or statements differing from this policy will be treated in accordance with the Board's policy.

[67 FR 31120, May 9, 2002, as amended at 77 FR 27366, May 10, 2012]

§1240.105   Special initial awards—NASA and NASA contractor employees.

(a) Patent Application Awards. (1) When the Board receives written notice, in the manner prescribed by the Board, from the Agency Counsel for Intellectual Property or the Patent or Intellectual Property Counsel at a NASA Center that an invention made by an employee of NASA or a NASA contractor and reported to NASA in the manner prescribed by the Board is eligible for a patent application award, the Board may recommend to the Administrator or a designee that an award be made, including a specific recommended amount and distribution thereof for any multiple inventors, so long as the following eligibility conditions have been met:

(i) A nonprovisional U.S. patent application has been filed covering the invention and NASA has either an ownership interest in the invention or an irrevocable, royalty-free, license to practice the invention, or have the invention practiced for or on its behalf, throughout the world, or the invention has been assigned by NASA to a contractor under 35 U.S.C. 202(e); or

(ii) A continuation-in-part or divisional patent has been issued based on a patent application that is eligible for an award under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section.

(2) No additional award will be given for a continuation patent application where an award was authorized for the parent application and the parent application will be or has been abandoned. In addition, awards will not be granted for provisional applications under 35 U.S.C. 111(b) or reissue applications under 35 U.S.C. 251.

(b) Software Release Awards. (1) When the Board receives written notice, in the manner prescribed by the procedures of the Board, that a NASA Center has approved the initial (first) release to a qualified user of a software package based on a software innovation made by an employee of NASA or a NASA contractor and reported to NASA in the manner prescribed by the procedures of the Board, the Board may recommend to the Administrator or designee that an award be made, including a specific amount and distribution thereof for any multiple innovators, so long as the following conditions have been met:

(i) NASA has either an ownership interest in the software or an irrevocable, royalty-free, license to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute, perform and display the software, throughout the world for governmental purposes;

(ii) The software is of commercial quality as defined in §1240.102; and

(iii) The software has been verified to perform the functions claimed in its documentation on the platform for which it was designed without harm to the systems or data contained within.

(2) Software that is the subject of a software release award is not eligible to receive a Tech Brief award based upon the publication of an announcement of availability in “NASA Tech Briefs.”

(3) Software release awards for modifications made to software for which the innovators have already received an initial software release award will be at the discretion of the Administrator or his designee, upon recommendation by the Board.

(c) Tech Briefs Awards. When the Board receives written notice, in the manner and format prescribed by the procedures of the Board, that a NASA Center has approved for publication a NASA Tech Brief based on an innovation made by an employee of NASA or a NASA contractor and reported to NASA in the manner and form prescribed by the procedures of the Board, the Board may recommend to the Administrator or designee that an award be made, including a specific amount and distribution thereof for any multiple innovators.

(d) When a Patent Application Award, a Software Release Award, and a Tech Brief Award have been authorized for the same contribution, the awards will be cumulative.

[77 FR 27366, May 10, 2012]

§1240.106   Review and evaluation of contribution.

(a) A contribution will be initially reviewed by the Board on the basis of the material submitted by the applicant under §1240.104(b).

(b) If it is determined that the contribution has been used in a NASA program, or adopted or sponsored or supported by NASA, the contribution will be evaluated for its significant value in the conduct of aeronautical or space activity.

(c) The Board will recommend an award for such contribution when, upon evaluation of its scientific and technical merits, it is determined to warrant an award of at least $500.

§1240.107   Notification by the Board.

(a) With respect to each completed application where the Board has recommended to the Administrator the granting of an award, and the Administrator has approved such award, the Board will notify the applicant of the amount and terms of the award. In the case of NASA employees or employees of NASA contractors, such notification will normally be made through the appropriate NASA field installation representative.

(b) Except for applications from NASA employees or employees of NASA contractors, where the Board does not propose to recommend to the Administrator the granting of an award, a notification will be provided which includes a brief statement of the reasons for such decision.

§1240.108   Reconsideration.

(a) With respect to each completed application, in those cases where the Board does not recommend an award, the applicant may, within such period as the Board may set but in no event less than 30 days from notification, request reconsideration of the Board's decision.

(b) If reconsideration has been requested within the prescribed time, the applicant will, within 30 days from the date of the request for reconsideration, or within any other time as the Board may set, file its statement setting forth the issues, points, authorities, arguments, and any additional material on which it relies.

(c) Upon filing of the reconsideration statement by the applicant, the case will be assigned for reconsideration by the Board upon the contents of the application, the record, and the reconsideration statement submitted by the applicant.

(d) If after reconsideration, the Board again does not propose to recommend the granting of an award, the applicant, after such notification by the Board, may request an oral hearing within the time set by the Board.

(e) An oral hearing without reconsideration may be granted upon determination of the Chairperson that good cause exists to do so.

[67 FR 31120, May 9, 2002, as amended at 77 FR 27367, May 10, 2012]

§1240.109   Hearing procedure.

(a) An Oral hearing held by the Board will be in accordance with the following procedures:

(1) If the applicant requests a hearing within the time set in accordance with §1240.108(d) or (e), the Board will set a place and date for such hearing and notify the applicant.

(2) The applicant may be represented by an attorney or any other appropriately designated person.

(3) Hearings will be open to the public unless the applicant requests that a closed hearing be held.

(4) Hearings may be held before the full membership of the Board or before any panel of Board members designated by the Chairperson.

(5) Hearings will be conducted in an informal manner with the objective of providing the applicant with a full opportunity to present evidence and arguments in support of the application. Evidence may be presented through means of such witnesses, exhibits, and visual aids as are arranged for by the applicant. While proceedings will be ex parte, members of the Board and its counsel may address questions to witnesses called by the applicant, and the Board may, at its option, utilize the assistance and testimony of technical advisors or other experts.

(6) Subject to the provisions of §1240.104(c)(2), the applicant will submit a copy of any exhibit or visual aid utilized unless otherwise directed by the Board. The Board may, at its discretion, arrange for a written transcript of the proceedings and a copy of such transcript will be made available by the recorder for purchase by the applicant.

(7) No funds are available to defray traveling expenses or any other cost incurred by the applicant.

§1240.110   Recommendation to, and action by, the Administrator.

(a) Upon a determination by the Board that a contribution merits an award, the Board will recommend to the Administrator or a designee the terms and conditions of the proposed award, including a specific amount and distribution thereof for any multiple contributors. The recommendation of the Board to the Administrator or designee will reflect the views of the majority of the Board members. Dissenting views may be transmitted with the majority opinion.

(b) The granting, denying or modification of any Board recommended award under this subpart will be at the sole discretion of the Administrator or his designee, who will determine the final terms and conditions of each award after consideration of the criteria in §1240.103.

(c) In addition, the Board may recommend, and the Administrator or his designee may grant, non-monetary awards under other applicable laws and regulations.

[67 FR 31120, May 9, 2002, as amended at 77 FR 27367, May 10, 2012]

§1240.111   Release

Under subsection 20136(c) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act, no award will be made to an applicant unless the applicant submits a duly executed release, in a form specified by the Administrator, of all claims the applicant may have to receive any compensation (other than the award recommended) from the United States Government for use of the contribution or any element thereof at any time by or on behalf of the United States, or by or on behalf of any foreign government pursuant to any existing or future treaty or agreement with the United States, within the United States, or at any other place.

[77 FR 27367, May 10, 2012]

§1240.112   Presentation of awards.

(a) Written acknowledgments to employees of NASA receiving awards will be provided by the appropriate Official-in-Charge at the Headquarters Office, by the Director of the cognizant NASA Center, or by a designee.

(b) Written acknowledgments to employees of NASA contractors receiving awards will be forwarded to contractor officials for suitable presentation.

(c) Monetary awards will be paid by check or electronic funds transfer.

[77 FR 27367, May 10, 2012]

§1240.113   Financial accounting.

NASA shall provide for appropriate database and accounting system(s) to ensure that award payments are recorded and disbursed in an orderly fashion and in the proper amounts to proper awardees.

[77 FR 27367, May 10, 2012]

§1240.114   Delegation of authority.

(a) The Chairperson, Inventions and Contributions Board, is delegated authority to approve and execute grants of awards for significant scientific or technical contributions not exceeding $2,000 per contributor, when in accordance with the recommendation of the Board and in conformity with applicable law and regulations.

(b) The Chairperson, Inventions and Contributions Board, is delegated authority to approve and execute grants of awards not exceeding $2,000 per awardee, upon the notification that:

(1) A Patent Application Award has been recommended by the Board pursuant to §1240.105(a);

(2) A Software Release Award has been recommended by the Board pursuant to §1240.105(b); or

(3) A Tech Briefs Award has been recommended by the Board pursuant to §1240.105(c).

[77 FR 27367, May 10, 2012]



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