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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of December 17, 2014

Title 14Chapter V → Part 1245


Title 14: Aeronautics and Space


PART 1245—PATENTS AND OTHER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS


Contents

Subpart 1—Patent Waiver Regulations

§1245.100   Scope.
§1245.101   Applicability.
§1245.102   Definitions and terms.
§1245.103   Policy.
§1245.104   Advance waivers.
§1245.105   Waiver after reporting inventions.
§1245.106   Waiver of foreign rights.
§1245.107   Reservations.
§1245.108   License to contractor.
§1245.109   Assignment of title to NASA.
§1245.110   Content of petitions.
§1245.111   Submission of petitions.
§1245.112   Notice of proposed Board action and reconsideration.
§1245.113   Hearing procedure.
§1245.114   Findings and recommendations of the Board.
§1245.115   Action by the Administrator.
§1245.116   Miscellaneous provisions.
§1245.117   March-in and waiver revocation procedures.
§1245.118   Record of decisions.

Subpart 2—Claims for Patent and Copyright Infringement

§1245.200   Purpose.
§1245.201   Objectives.
§1245.202   Contents of communication initiating claim.
§1245.203   Incomplete notice of infringement.
§1245.204   Indirect notice of infringement.
§1245.205   Processing of administrative claims.

Subpart 3—NASA Foreign Patent Program

§1245.300   Scope of subpart.
§1245.301   Inventions under NASA contracts.
§1245.302   Inventions by NASA employees.
§1245.303   Criteria.
§1245.304   Procedures.

Subparts 4-5 [Reserved]


Subpart 1—Patent Waiver Regulations

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 2457, 35 U.S.C. 200 et seq.

Source: 52 FR 43748, Nov. 16, 1987, unless otherwise noted.

§1245.100   Scope.

This subpart prescribes regulations for the waiver of rights of the Government of the United States to inventions made under NASA contract in conformity with section 305 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2457).

§1245.101   Applicability.

The provisions of the subpart apply to all inventions made or which may be made under conditions enabling the Administrator to determine that the rights therein reside in the Government of the United States under section 305(a) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2457(a). The provisions do not apply to inventions made under any contract, grant, or cooperative agreement with a nonprofit organization or small business firm that are afforded the disposition of rights as provided in 35 U.S.C. 200-204 (Pub. L. 96-517, 94 Stat. 3019, 3020, 3022 and 3023; and Pub. L. 98-620, 98 Stat. 3364-3367).

§1245.102   Definitions and terms.

As used in this subpart:

(a) Contract means any actual or proposed contract, agreement, understanding, or other arrangement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or another Government agency on NASA's behalf, including any assignment, substitution of parties, or subcontract executed or entered into thereunder, and including NASA grants awarded under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 1891-1893.

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

(c) Invention includes any art, method, process, machine, manufacture, design, or composition or 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 of America or any foreign country.

(d) Made, when used in relation to any invention, means the conception or first actual reduction to practice of such invention.

(e) 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.

(f) Board means the NASA Inventions and Contributions Board established by the Administrator of NASA within the Administration under section 305(f) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2457(f)).

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

(h) Petitioner means a contractor or prospective contractor who requests that the Administrator waive rights in an invention or class of inventions made or which may be made under a NASA contract. In the case of an identified invention, the petitioner may be the inventor(s).

(i) Government agency includes any executive department, independent commission, board, office, agency, administration, authority, Government corporation, or other Government establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States of America.

(j) Administrator means the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration or the Administrator's duly authorized representative.

§1245.103   Policy.

(a) In implementing the provisions of section 305(f) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2457(f)), and in determining when the interests of the United States would be served by waiver of all or any part of the rights of the United States in inventions made in the performance of work under NASA contracts, the Administrator will be guided by the objectives set forth in the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2451-2477) and by the basic policy of the Presidential Memorandum and Statement of Government Patent Policy to the Heads of the Executive Departments and agencies dated February 18, 1983. Among the most important goals are to provide incentives to foster inventiveness and encourage the reporting of inventions made under NASA contracts, to provide for the widest practicable dissemination of new technology resulting from NASA programs, and to promote early utilization, expeditious development, and continued availability of this new technology for commercial purposes and the public benefit. In applying this regulation, both the need for incentives to draw forth private initiatives and the need to promote healthy competition in industry must be weighed.

(b) Several different situations arise when waiver of all or any part of the rights of the United States may be requested and are prescribed in §§1245.104-1245.106. Under §1245.104, advance waiver of rights to any or all of the inventions which may be made under a contract may be requested prior to the execution of the contract, or within 30 days after execution of the contract. Waiver of rights to an identified invention made and reported under a contract are to be requested under §1245.105, and may be requested under this provision even though a request under §1245.104 was not made, or if made, was not granted. Waiver of foreign rights under §1245.106 may be requested concurrently with domestic rights under §1245.104 or §1245.105, or may be made independently.

(c) With respect to inventions which may be or are made or conceived in the course of or under contracts for research, development or demonstration work awarded by NASA on behalf of the Department of Energy (DOE) or in support of a DOE program, on a reimbursable basis pursuant to agreement between DOE and NASA, the waiver policy, regulations, and procedures of DOE will be applied. NASA will normally grant waiver of rights to inventions made under contracts awarded by NASA on behalf of, or in support of, programs funded by another Government agency, unless the funding agency recommends and justifies denial of the waiver. See §§1245.110(c) and 1245.111(b).

§1245.104   Advance waivers.

(a) The provisions of this section apply to petitions for waiver of domestic rights to any or all of the inventions which may be made under a contract.

(b) The NASA Inventions and Contributions Board normally will recommend grant of a request for advance waiver of domestic rights submitted prior to execution of contract or within 30 days after execution of the contract unless the Board finds that the interests of the United States will be better served by restricting or eliminating all or part of the rights of the contractor in one or more of the following situations:

(1) When the contractor is not located in the United States or does not have a place of business in the United States or is subject to the control of a foreign government;

(2) When a determination has been made by Government authority which is authorized by statute or Executive order to conduct foreign intelligence or counter-intelligence activities that the restriction or elimination of the right to retain title to any inventions made in the performance of work under the contract is necessary to protect the security of such activities; or

(3) Where the Board finds that exceptional circumstances exist, such that restriction or elimination of the right to retain title will better promote one or more of the following objectives:

(i) Promoting the utilization of inventions arising from federally supported research and development;

(ii) Encouraging maximum participation of industry in federally-supported research and development;

(iii) Ensuring that inventions are used in a manner to promote free competition and enterprise;

(iv) Promoting the commercialization and public availability of inventions made in the United States by United States industry and labor; and

(v) Ensuring that the Government obtains sufficient rights in federally-supported inventions to meet the needs of the Government and protect the public against nonuse or unreasonable use of inventions.

(c)(1) An advance waiver, when granted, will be subject to the reservations set forth in §1245.107. Normally, the reservations of §1245.107(a), License to the Government, and §1245.107(b), March-in rights, will apply. However, should one or more of the situations set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(3), of this section exist, rather than denying the advance waiver request, the Board may recommend restricting or eliminating only part of the rights of the contractor to the extent necessary to address the particular situation, consistent with the policy and goals of §1245.103. In that event, the waiver grant will be subject to additional reservations as provided for in §1245.107(c).

(2) An advance waiver, when granted, will apply only to inventions reported to NASA under the applicable terms of the contract and a designation made within 6 months of the time of reporting (or a reasonable time thereafter permitted for good cause shown) that the contractor elects title to the invention and intends to file or has filed a U.S. patent application. Such election will be made by notification in writing to the patent representative designated in the contract. Title to all other inventions made under the contract are subject to section 305(a) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2457(a). The granting of the advance waiver does not otherwise relieve a contractor of any of the invention identification or reporting requirements set forth in the applicable patent rights clause in the contract.

(3) The waiver shall extend to the invention claimed in any patent application filed on the reported invention, including any subsequent divisional or continuation application thereof, provided the claims of the subsequent application do not substantially change the scope of the reported invention.

(d) When a petition for waiver is submitted under paragraph (b) of this section, prior to contract execution, it will be processed expeditiously so that a decision on the petition may be reached prior to execution of the contract. However, if there is insufficient time or insufficient information is presented, or for other reasons which do not permit a recommendation to be made without unduly delaying execution of the contract, the Board will inform the contracting officer that no recommendation has been made and the reasons therefor. The contracting officer will then notify the petitioner of the Board's action.

(e) After notification by the contracting officer under paragraph (d) of this section, the petitioner may, upon its execution of the contract, or within 30 days, request the Board to reconsider the matter under paragraph (b) of this section either on the record or with any additional statements submitted in the subpart of the original petition.

(f) A waiver granted pursuant to a petition submitted under this section shall extend to any contract changes, modifications, or supplemental agreements, so long as the purpose of the contract or the scope of work to be performed is not substantially changed.

§1245.105   Waiver after reporting inventions.

(a) The provisions of this section apply to petitions for waiver of domestic rights to identified inventions which have been reported to NASA and to which a waiver of rights has not been granted pursuant to §1245.104.

(b)(1) When an individual identified invention has been reported to NASA under the applicable terms of the contract and waiver of rights has not been granted under §1245.104, the Board normally will recommend grant of a request for waiver of domestic rights to such invention if the request is received within 8 months of first disclosure to NASA (or such longer period that the Board may permit for good cause shown), unless the Board finds that one or more of the situations set forth in §1245.104(b)(3)(i) through (v) exist. When granted, the waiver will be subject to the reservations set forth in §1245.107 in the same manner as discussed in §1245.104(c)(1).

(2) The waiver shall extend to the invention claimed in the patent application filed on the reported invention, including any subsequent divisional or continuation application thereof, provided the claims of the subsequent application do not substantially change the scope of the reported invention.

§1245.106   Waiver of foreign rights.

(a) The Board will consider the waiver of foreign rights in any designated country concurrently with the waiver of domestic rights when so requested under §1245.104 or §1245.105.

(b) The Board will also consider a separate request for foreign rights for an individual identified invention in any designated country if a request was not made pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, or for countries not designated pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Waiver of foreign rights will normally be granted under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of this section in any designated country unless; (1) The Board finds that the economic interests of the United States will not be served thereby; or unless (2) in the case of an individual identified invention under paragraph (b) of this section, NASA has determined, prior to the request, to file a patent application in the designated country.

(d) If, subsequent to the granting of the petition for foreign rights, the petitioner requests and designates additional countries in which it wishes to secure patents, the Chairperson may grant such request, in whole or in part, without further action by the Board.

§1245.107   Reservations.

(a) License to the Government. Any invention for which waiver of domestic or foreign rights has been granted under this subpart shall be subject to the reservation by the Administrator of an irrevocable, nonexclusive, nontransferable, royalty-free license for the practice of the invention throughout the world by or on behalf of the United States or any foreign government pursuant to any treaty or agreement with the United States.

(b) March-in rights. For any invention for which waiver of rights has been granted under this subpart, NASA has the right in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 203 and 210, and with the procedures set forth in §1245.117 and 37 CFR 401.6, to require the contractor, an assignee, or exclusive licensee of the invention to grant a nonexclusive, partially exclusive, or exclusive license in any field of use to a responsible applicant or applicants, upon terms that are reasonable under the circumstances, and if the contractor, assignee, or exclusive licensee refuses such a request, NASA has the right to grant such a license itself if NASA determines that:

(1) Such action is necessary because the contractor or assignee has not taken, or is not expected to take within a reasonable time, effective steps to achieve practical application of the invention in such field of use;

(2) Such action is necessary to alleviate health or safety needs which are not reasonably satisfied by the contractor, assignee, or their licensees;

(3) Such action is necessary to meet requirements for public use specified by Federal regulations and such requirements are not reasonably satisfied by the contractor, assignee, or licensees; or

(4) Such action is necessary because the agreement required by the “Preference for United States industry” has not been obtained or waived or because a licensee of the exclusive right to use or sell any invention in the United States is in breach of such agreement.

(c) Additional reservations. In the event one or more of the situations set forth in §1245.104 (b)(1) through (b)(3) exist, the Board may determine to recommend partial grant of the waiver request (rather than denial) by making the grant subject to additional reservations (than those set forth in (a) and (b) of this section) to the extent necessary to address the particular situation. Such additional reservations may include, but not be limited to, field-of-use or terrestrial-use limitations, or additions to the march-in rights.

§1245.108   License to contractor.

(a) Each contractor reporting an invention is granted a revocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free license in each patent application filed in any country on the invention and in any resulting patent in which the Government acquires title. The license extends to the contractor's 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. The license and right is transferable only with the approval of the Administrator except when transferred to the successor of that part of the contractor's business to which the invention pertains.

(b) The contractor's domestic license may be revoked or modified by the Administrator to the extent necessary to achieve expeditious practical application of the invention pursuant to an application for an exclusive license submitted in accordance with the Licensing of NASA Inventions (14 CFR 1245.2). This license will not be revoked in that field of use and/or the geographical areas in which the contractor has achieved practical application and continues to make the benefits of the invention available to the public on reasonable terms. The license in any foreign country may be revoked or modified at the discretion of the Administrator to the extent the contractor, its licensees, or its domestic subsidiaries or affiliates have failed to achieve practical application in that foreign country.

(c) Before revocation or modification of the license, the contractor will be provided a written notice of the Administrator's intention to revoke or modify the license, and the contractor will be allowed 30 days (or any other time as may be allowed by the Administrator for good cause shown by the contractor) after the notice to show cause why the license should not be revoked or modified. The contractor shall have the right to appeal, under the Licensing of NASA Inventions (14 CFR 1245.2), any decision concerning the revocation or modification of its license.

§1245.109   Assignment of title to NASA.

(a) The instrument of waiver set forth in §1245.115(c) shall be voided by NASA with respect to the domestic title to any invention for which a patent application has not been filed within 1 year (or a reasonable time thereafter for good cause shown) from notification to NASA of election of title, as required by §1245.104(c)(2), for an advanced waiver pursuant to §1245.104, or within 1 year from the granting of a waiver for an individual invention granted pursuant to §1245.105.

(b) The instrument of waiver set forth in §1245.115(c) shall be voided by NASA with respect to title in any foreign country for which waiver has been granted pursuant to §1245.106, if a patent application has not been filed in that country (or in the European Patent Office or under the Patent Cooperation Treaty and that country designated) within either 10 months (or a reasonable time thereafter for good cause shown) from the date a corresponding U.S. patent application has been filed or 6 months (or a reasonable time thereafter for good cause shown) from the date a license is granted by the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks to file foreign patent applications where such filing has been prohibited by a Secrecy Order.

(c) In any country in which the waiver recipient decides not to continue prosecution of any application, to pay maintenance fees on, or defend in reexamination or opposition proceedings on a patent on a waived invention, the waiver recipient shall notify the patent representative within sufficient time for NASA to continue prosecution, pay the maintenance fee or defend the reexamination or opposition, and upon written request, convey title to NASA and execute all papers necessary for NASA to proceed with the appropriate action.

§1245.110   Content of petitions.

(a) Each request for waiver of domestic or foreign rights under §1245.104, §1245.105, or §1245.106 shall be by petition to the Administrator and shall include:

(1) An identification of the petitioner, its place of business, and address;

(2) If the petitioner is represented by counsel, the name, address, and telephone number of the counsel;

(3) A citation to the section (§1245.104, §1245.105, or §1245.106) under which the petition is submitted, the nature and extent of the rights requested, and a positive statement that waiver of rights under the cited section is being requested;

(4) If the petitioner is an employee inventor of the contractor, a statement from the contractor that the contractor does not object to this petition.

(5) Information identifying the proposed contract or resulting contract, if any;

(6) A designation of the country or countries, the United States of America and/or foreign, in which waiver of title is requested;

(7) A copy of the invention disclosure if the request is for an individual identified invention (under §1245.105);

(8) The name, address, and telephone number of the party with whom the Board is to communicate when the request is acted upon;

(9) Whether the petitioner is an entity of or under the control of a foreign government;

(10) The signature of the petitioner or its authorized representative; and

(11) The date of the petition.

(b) No specific forms need be used. Requests for advanced waiver should, preferably, be included with the proposal, but in any event in advance of negotiations.

(c) Petitions for waiver under contracts funded by another agency. The content of the petitions for waiver of title to inventions made under contracts awarded by NASA on behalf of the Department of Energy under §1245.103(c) shall follow the procedures and form prescribed by and shall be acted on by that agency. Petitions under contracts awarded by NASA on behalf of other agencies will be coordinated with the agency before action is taken by the Board.

§1245.111   Submission of petitions.

(a) Petitions for advance waiver of domestic rights under §1245.104 or for advance waiver of foreign rights under §1245.106 presented prior to contract execution, must be submitted to the contracting officer. Any petition submitted by a prospective contractor and selected for negotiation of a contract will be processed and forwarded to the Board for consideration. All other petitions will be submitted to the patent representative designated in the contract for processing prior to forwarding to the Board.

(b) A copy of any waiver petitions submitted under §1245.103(c) should be forwarded to the appropriate NASA field installation patent counsel, if not supplied earlier, for (1) transmittal to the Department of Energy for processing by that agency, or (2) coordination with other agencies, as applicable.

§1245.112   Notice of proposed Board action and reconsideration.

(a) Notice. Except as provided by §1245.104(d), the Board will notify the petitioner, through the contracting officer, with respect to petitions for advance waiver prior to contract execution, and directly to the petitioner for all other petitions:

(1) Whether it proposes to recommend to the Administrator that the petition be:

(i) Granted in the extent requested;

(ii) Granted in an extent different from that requested; or

(iii) Denied.

(2) Of the reasons for any recommended action adverse to or different from the waiver of rights requested by the petitioner.

(b) Request for reconsideration and statements required. (1) If, under paragraph (a) of this section, the Board notifies the petitioner that the Board proposes to recommend action adverse to or different from the waiver requested, the petitioner may, within the period as the Board may set, but not less than 15 days from the notification, request reconsideration by the Board.

(2) If reconsideration has been requested within the prescribed time, the petitioner shall, 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 points, authorities, arguments, and any additional material on which it relies.

(3) Upon filing of the reconsideration statement by the petitioner, the petition will be assigned for reconsideration by the Board upon the contents of the petition, the record, and the reconsideration statement submitted by the petitioner.

(4) The Board, after its reconsideration, will promptly notify the petitioner of its proposed recommendation to the Administrator. If the Board's proposed action is adverse to, or different from, the waiver requested, the petitioner may request an oral hearing within the time as the Board has set.

§1245.113   Hearing procedure.

(a) If the petitioner requests an oral hearing within the time set, under §1245.112(b)(4), the Board shall set the time and place for the hearing and shall notify the petitioner.

(b) Oral hearings held by the Board shall be open to the public and shall be held in accordance with the following procedures:

(1) Oral hearings shall be conducted in an informal manner, with the objective of providing the petitioner with a full opportunity to present facts and arguments in support of the petition. Evidence may be presented through means of witnesses, exhibits, and visual aids as are arranged for by the petitioner. Petitioner may be represented by any person including its attorney. While proceedings will be ex parte, members of the Board and its counsel may address questions to witnesses called by the petitioner, and the Board may, at its option, enlist the aid of technical advisors or expert witnesses. Any person present at the hearing may make a statement for the record.

(2) A transcript or equivalent record of the proceeding shall be arranged for by the Board. The petitioner shall submit for the record a copy of any exhibit or visual aid utilized during the hearing.

§1245.114   Findings and recommendations of the Board.

(a) Findings of the Board. The Board shall consider the petition, the NASA contract, if relevant, the goals cited in §1245.103(a), the effect of the waiver on the objectives of the related NASA programs, and any other available facts and information presented to the Board by an interested party. The Board shall document its findings.

(b) Recommendation of the Board. (1) Except as provided in §1245.104(d), after making the findings of fact, the Board shall formulate its proposed recommendation to the Administrator as to the grant of waiver as requested, the grant of waiver upon terms other than as requested, or denial of waiver.

(2) If the Board proposes to recommend, initially or upon reconsideration or after oral hearing, that the petition be granted in the extent requested or, in other cases, where the petitioner does not request reconsideration or a hearing during the period set for the action or informs the Board that the action will not be requested, or fails to file the required statements within the prescribed time, the Board shall transmit the petition, a summary record of hearing proceedings, if applicable, its findings of fact, and its recommendation to the Administrator.

§1245.115   Action by the Administrator.

(a) After receiving the transmittal from the Board, the Administrator shall determine, in accordance with the policy of §1245.103, whether or not to grant any petition for waiver of rights to the petitioner.

(b) In the event of denial of the petition by the Administrator, a written notice of such denial will be promptly transmitted by the Board to the petitioner. The written notice will be accompanied with a statement of the grounds for denial.

(c) If the waiver is granted by the Administrator, the petitioner shall be sent for execution, an instrument of waiver confirmatory of the conditions and reservations of the waiver grant. The petitioner shall promptly return the executed copy of the instrument of waiver to the Chairperson.

§1245.116   Miscellaneous provisions.

(a) Filing of patent applications and reimbursement of costs. In order to protect the interests of the Government and the petitioner in inventions, a petitioner may file United States patent applications for such inventions prior to the Administrator's determination on a petition for waiver. If an application on an identified invention is filed during the pendency of the petition, or within 60 days prior to the receipt of a petition, NASA will reimburse the petitioner for any reasonable costs of the filing and patent prosecution that may have occurred, provided:

(1) Similar patent filing and prosecution costs are not normally reimbursed to the petitioner as direct or indirect costs chargeable to the Government contracts;

(2) The petition is ultimately denied with respect to domestic rights, or with respect to foreign and domestic rights, if both are requested, and

(3) Prior to reimbursement, petitioner assigns the application to the United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

(b) Statement of Government rights. The waiver recipient shall include, within the specification of any United States patent application and any patent issuing thereon for a waived invention, the following statement:

The invention described herein was made in the performance of work under NASA Contract No. ___, and is subject to the provisions of Section 305 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2457).

(c) License to the Government. The waiver recipient shall return to NASA a duly executed and approved license to the Government (which will be prepared by the Government) fully confirming of all the rights, domestic and foreign, to which the Government is entitled.

(d) Patent filing and issuance information. The waiver recipient shall furnish to either the Chairperson or the patent representative, the filing date, serial number and title, and upon request, a copy of any domestic or foreign patent application including an English language version if filed in a language other than English, and a copy of the patent or patent number and issue date, for any waived invention.

(e) Transfer of rights. The waiver recipient shall notify the Chairperson prior to any transfer of principal rights in any waived invention to any party. Such transfer shall be subject to all rights reserved by the Government, and all obligations of the waiver recipient, as set forth in this subpart.

(f) Utilization reports. (1) The waiver recipient shall provide to the Chairperson upon request, and no more frequently than annually, reports on the utilization of a waived invention or on efforts at obtaining such utilization being made by the waiver recipient or its licensees or assigns. Such reports shall include information regarding the status of the development, date of first commercial sale or use, and such other data and information as the Chairperson may reasonably specify. No utilization reports need be submitted after the term of the patent.

(2) Such reports on the utilization of a waived invention, as well as information on the utilization or efforts at obtaining utilization obtained as part of a march-in proceeding under §1245.117, shall be treated by NASA as commercial and financial information obtained from a person and privileged and confidential and not subject to disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552.

(g) Communications. Unless otherwise specifically set forth in this subpart, all communications relating to waived inventions, and all information and documents required to be submitted to NASA in this subpart, shall be furnished to the patent representative designated in the contract under which the waived invention was made.

(Recordkeeping and reporting requirements contained in paragraph (f) were approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 2700-0050)

§1245.117   March-in and waiver revocation procedures.

(a) The exercise of march-in procedures shall be governed by 35 U.S.C. 203 and by the applicable provisions of 37 CFR 401.6, entitled “Exercise of march-in rights for inventions made by nonprofit organizations and small business firms.”

(b) Whenever NASA receives information that it believes might warrant the exercise of march-in rights, before initiating any march-in proceeding, it shall notify the waiver recipient in writing of the information and request informal written or oral comments from the waiver recipient as well as information relevant to the matter. In the absence of any comments from the waiver recipient within 30 days, NASA may, at its discretion, proceed with the procedures set forth in 37 CFR 401.6. If a comment is received within 30 days, or later if NASA has not initiated the procedures, then NASA shall, within 60 days after it receives the comment, either initiate the procedures or notify the waiver recipient, in writing, that it will not pursue march-in rights on the basis of the available information.

(c) If march-in procedures are to be initiated, the Administrator of NASA, or designee, shall undertake or refer the matter for fact finding to the NASA Board of Contract Appeals (BCA) and its Chairperson.

(d) Fact-finding shall be conducted by the NASA BCA and its Chairperson in accordance with its procedures that are consistent with the procedures set forth in 37 CFR 401.6. Any portion of the march-in proceeding, including a fact-finding hearing that involves testimony or evidence relating to the utilization or efforts at obtaining utilization that are being made by the waiver recipient, its assignee, or licensees shall be closed to the public, including potential licensees. In accordance with 35 U.S.C. 202(c)(5), NASA shall not disclose any such information obtained during a march-in proceeding to persons outside the Government except when such release is authorized by the waiver recipient (assignee or licensee).

(e) The preparation of written findings of fact and recommended determination by the Chairperson of the NASA BCA and the determination by the Administrator, or designee, of NASA shall be in accordance with 37 CFR 401.6.

(f) NASA may, at any time, terminate a march-in proceeding if it is satisfied that it does not wish to exercise march-in rights.

§1245.118   Record of decisions.

The findings of fact and recommendations made to the Administrator by the Board with respect to each petition for waiver shall be recorded by the Board and be available to the public.

Subpart 2—Claims for Patent and Copyright Infringement

Authority: 51 U.S.C. 20112-20113; 22 U.S.C. 2356; 35 U.S.C. 181-188 and 286; and 28 U.S.C. 1498.

Source: 77 FR 14687, Mar. 13, 2012, unless otherwise noted.

§1245.200   Purpose.

The purpose of this subpart is to set forth policies and procedures for the filing and disposition of claims of infringement of privately owned rights in patented inventions or copyrighted works asserted against NASA.

§1245.201   Objectives.

Whenever a claim of infringement of privately owned rights in patented inventions or copyrighted works is asserted against NASA, all necessary steps shall be taken to investigate and to administratively settle, deny, or otherwise dispose of such claim prior to suit against the United States. The General Counsel, or designee, is authorized to investigate, settle, deny, or otherwise dispose of all claims of patent and copyright infringement, pursuant to the above-cited statutory authority.

§1245.202   Contents of communication initiating claim.

(a) Requirements for claim. A patent or copyright infringement claim for compensation, asserted against the United States as represented by NASA under any of the applicable statutes cited above, must be actually communicated to and received by an organization, office, or within a NASA Center. Claims must be in writing and must include the following:

(1) An allegation of infringement.

(2) A request for compensation, either expressed or implied.

(3) A citation to the patent(s) or copyright(s) alleged to be infringed.

(4) In the case of a patent infringement claim, a sufficient designation to permit identification of the accused subject matter (e.g. article(s) or process(es)) alleged to infringe the patent(s), giving the commercial designation, if known to the claimant, or, in the case of a copyright infringement claim, the accused subject matter (e.g. act(s) or work(s)) alleged to infringe the copyright.

(5) In the case of a patent infringement claim, a designation of at least one claim of each patent alleged to be infringed or, in the case of a copyright infringement claim, a copy of each work alleged to be infringed.

(6) As an alternative to paragraphs (a)(4) and (5) of this section, certification that the claimant has made a bona fide attempt to determine the accused subject matter, which is alleged to infringe the patent(s), or the accused subject matter alleged to infringe the copyright(s), but was unable to do so, giving reasons and stating a reasonable basis for the claimant's belief that the patent(s) or copyright(s) is being infringed.

(b) Additional information for patent infringement claims. In addition to the information listed in paragraph (a) of this section, the following material and information generally are necessary in the course of processing a claim of patent infringement. Claimants are encouraged to furnish this information at the time of filing a claim to permit rapid processing and resolution of the claim.

(1) A copy of the asserted patent(s) and identification of all claims of the patent(s) alleged to be infringed.

(2) Identification of all procurements known to the claimants that involve the accused item(s) or process(es), including the identity of the vendor(s) or contractor(s) and the Government acquisition activity or activities.

(3) A detailed identification and description of the accused article(s) or process(es) used or acquired by the Government, particularly where the article(s) or process(es) relate to a component(s) or subcomponent(s) of an item acquired, and an element-by-element comparison of representative claim(s) with the accused article(s) or process(es). If available, the identification and description should include documentation and drawings to illustrate the accused article(s) or process(es) in sufficient detail to enable determining whether the claim(s) of the asserted patent(s) read on the accused article(s) or process(es).

(4) Names and addresses of all past and present licensees under the patent(s) and copies of all license agreements and releases involving the patent(s). In addition, an identification of all assignees of the patent(s).

(5) A list of all persons to whom notices of infringement have been sent, including all departments and agencies of the Government, and a statement of the status or ultimate disposition of each.

(6) A brief description of all litigation involving the patent(s) which was initiated at any time prior to the claim being filed and their present status. This includes any defenses or counterclaims made and positions maintained by opposing parties regarding invalidity of the patent(s).

(7) A description of Government employment or military service, if any, by the inventor(s) or patent owner(s) including a statement from the inventor(s) or patent owner(s) certifying whether the invention claimed in the patents was conceived or reduced to practice, in part or in whole, during Government employment and whether such inventor(s) or owner(s) occupied any position from which such inventor(s) or owner(s) was capable of ordering, influencing, or inducing use of the invention by the Government.

(8) A list of all contract(s) between the Government and inventor(s), patent owner(s), or anyone in privity with the patent owner(s), under which work relating to the patented subject matter was performed.

(9) Evidence of title to the asserted patent(s) or other right to make the claim.

(10) A copy of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) file history of each patent, if it is available to the claimant. Indicate whether the patent has been the subject of any interference proceedings, certification of correction request, reexamination, or reissue proceedings at the USPTO, or lapsed for failure to pay any maintenance fee. In addition, the status of all corresponding foreign patents and patent applications and full copies of the same.

(11) Pertinent prior art known to the claimant not contained in the USPTO file, for example, publications and foreign prior art. In addition to the foregoing, if claimant can provide a statement that the investigation may be limited to the specifically identified accused article(s) or process(es) or to a specific acquisition (e.g. identified contract(s)), it may speed disposition of the claim. Claimants are also encouraged to provide information on any ancillary matters that may have a bearing on validity or infringement.

(c) Denial for refusal to provide information. In the course of investigating a claim, it may become necessary for NASA to request information in the control and custody of the claimant that is relevant to the disposition of the claim. Failure of the claimant to respond to a request for such information shall be sufficient reason alone for denying a claim.

§1245.203   Incomplete notice of infringement.

(a) If a communication alleging patent infringement or copyright infringement is received that does not meet the requirements set forth in §1245.202(a), the sender shall be advised in writing by the Agency Counsel for Intellectual Property:

(1) That the claim for infringement has not been satisfactorily presented; and

(2) Of the elements necessary to establish a claim.

(b) A communication, in which no infringement is alleged in accordance with §1245.202(a), such as a mere proffer of a license, shall not be considered a claim for infringement.

§1245.204   Indirect notice of infringement.

A communication by a patent or copyright owner to addressees other than those specified in §1245.202(a), such as NASA contractors, including contractors operating Government-owned facilities, alleging that acts of infringement have occurred in the performance of a Government contract, grant, or other arrangement, shall not be considered a claim within the meaning of §1245.202(a) until such communication meets the requirements specified therein.

§1245.205   Processing of administrative claims.

(a) Filing and forwarding of claims. All communications regarding claims should be addressed to: Agency Counsel for Intellectual Property, Office of the General Counsel, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC 20546-0001. If any communication relating to a claim or possible claim of patent or copyright infringement is received by an agency, organization, office, or field installation within NASA, it shall be forwarded to the Agency Counsel for Intellectual Property.

(b) Disposition and notification. The General Counsel, or designee, shall investigate and administratively settle, deny, or otherwise dispose of each claim. When a claim is denied, the Agency shall so notify the claimant or the claimant's authorized representative and provide the claimant with the reasons for denying the claim. Disclosure of information shall be subject to applicable statutes, regulations, and directives pertaining to security, access to official records, and the rights of others.

(c) Termination of claims. If, while an administrative claim for patent or copyright infringement is pending against NASA, the claimant brings suit for patent or copyright infringement against the United States in the Court of Federal Claims based on the same facts or transactions as the administrative claim, the administrative claim shall thereupon be automatically dismissed, with no further action being required of NASA.

Subpart 3—NASA Foreign Patent Program

Link to an amendment published at 78 FR 20423, April 5, 2013.

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 2457(h) and Executive Orders 9865 and 10096.

Source: 30 FR 1844, Feb. 10, 1965, unless otherwise noted.

§1245.300   Scope of subpart.

This subpart establishes policy, criteria, and procedures concerning the NASA Foreign Patent Program.

§1245.301   Inventions under NASA contracts.

(a) Pursuant to §1245.113, NASA has facilitated the filing of foreign patent applications by contractors by providing for the granting of a waiver of title to a contractor to any identified invention in countries other than the United States in the event the Administrator of NASA does not desire to file a patent application covering the invention in such countries. However, any such waiver is subject to the reservation by the Administrator of the license required to be retained by NASA under section 305(f) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2457(f)).

(b) Conversely, where the principal rights in an invention made under a NASA contract remain in the contractor by virtue of waiver, §1245.19(a)(5) provides that the contractor, upon written request, will convey to the Administrator of NASA the entire right, title, and interest in the invention in any foreign country in which the contractor has elected not to file a patent application.

(c) With respect to inventions in which NASA has acquired and retained the principal rights, NASA will file patent applications in countries other than the United States on inventions selected in accordance with the criteria set forth in §1245.303.

§1245.302   Inventions by NASA employees.

(a) The foreign rights of NASA and of the NASA employee making an invention are determinable in accordance with Executive Orders 9865 and 10096 and Government Patent Board Administrative Order No. 6 issued pursuant thereto.

(b) Where NASA acquires an assignment of the domestic rights in an invention made by a NASA employee, NASA will also obtain an option to acquire the foreign rights, including the right to file foreign patent applications on the invention.

(c) Where NASA is entitled to only a governmental license in the invention, the principal foreign rights in the invention are retained by the employee unless he agrees in writing to assign such rights to NASA.

§1245.303   Criteria.

The following categories of inventions will be considered for the filing of patent applications by NASA in countries other than the United States:

(a) Inventions which may be utilized abroad in governmental programs of the United States.

(b) Inventions which may be exploited abroad in the public interest by license to U.S. nationals or others.

(c) Inventions which may be utilized in applications type satellites, such as communications and meteorological satellites.

(d) Inventions considered to be basic discoveries or of major significance in an art.

(e) Inventions in fields which directly concern the public health or public welfare.

§1245.304   Procedures.

(a) The patent counsel at each NASA field installation will review all invention disclosures at the time of docketing and will expedite the processing and preparation of a U.S. patent application, if justified, on those inventions which appear to fall within the criteria set forth in §1245.303. The patent counsel will make a recommendation as to whether or not foreign patent coverage appears justified at the time of assigning a priority evaluation to a disclosed invention.

(b) Preparation and filing of patent applications in foreign countries will be subject to approval of the Assistant General Counsel for Patent Matters, NASA Headquarters.

(c) The Office of Assistant General Counsel for Patent Matters will budget for and administer the filing of all patent applications in countries other than the United States.

(d) Coordination with other interested NASA offices will be undertaken by the Assistant General Counsel for Patent Matters.

Subparts 4-5 [Reserved]



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