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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 18, 2014

Title 32Subtitle AChapter VISubchapter D → Part 746


Title 32: National Defense


PART 746—LICENSING OF GOVERNMENT INVENTIONS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY


Contents
§746.1   Purpose.
§746.2   Policy.
§746.3   Delegation of authority.
§746.4   Definitions.
§746.5   Government inventions available for licensing.
§746.6   Nonexclusive license.
§746.7   Limited exclusive license.
§746.8   Additional licenses.
§746.9   Royalties.
§746.10   Reports.
§746.11   Procedures.
§746.12   Litigation.
§746.13   Transfer of custody of Government inventions.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 10 U.S.C. 5031; 40 U.S.C. 486(c); and 41 CFR 101-4.1.

Source: 41 FR 55712, Dec. 22, 1976, unless otherwise noted.

§746.1   Purpose.

This part implements Department of Defense Directive 5535.3 of November 2, 1973 and 41 CFR subpart 101-4.1, and sets forth the policy, terms, conditions, and procedures for the licensing of rights in domestic patents and patent applications vested in the United States of America and in the custody of the Department of the Navy.

§746.2   Policy.

(a) A major premise of the Presidential Statement fo Government Patent Policy, August 23, 1971 (36 FR 16887, August 26, 1971), is that government inventions normally will best serve the public interest when they are developed to the point of practical application and made available to the public in the shortest possible time. The granting of express nonexclusive or exclusive licenses for the practice of these inventions may assist in the accomplishment of the national objective to achieve a dynamic and efficient economy.

(b) The granting of nonexclusive licenses generally is preferable, since the invention is thereby laid open to all interested parties and serves to promote competition in industry, if the invention is in fact promoted commercially. However, to obtain commercial utilization of the invention, it may be necessary to grant an exclusive license for a limited period of time as an incentive for the investment of risk capital to achieve practical application of an invention.

(c) Whenever the grant of an exclusive license is deemed appropriate, it shall be negotiated on terms and conditions most favorable to the public interest. In selecting an exclusive licensee, consideration shall be given to the capabilities of the prospective licensee to further the technical and market development of the invention, his plan to undertake the development, the projected impact on competition, and the benefit to the Government and the public. Consideration shall be given also to assisting small business and minority business enterprises, as well as economically depressed, low income, and labor surplus areas, and whether each or any applicant is a United States citizen or corporation. Where there is more than one applicant for an exclusive license, that applicant shall be selected who is determined to be most capable of satisfying the criteria and achieving the goals set forth in this part.

(d) Subject to the following: (1) Any existing or future treaty or agreement between the United States and any foreign government or inter-governmental organization, or

(2) Licenses under or other rights to inventions made or conceived in the course of or under Department of the Navy research and development contracts where such licenses or other rights to such inventions are provided for in the contract and retained by the party contracting with the Department of the Navy, no license shall be granted or implied in a government invention, except as provided for in this part.

(e) No grant of a license under this part shall be construed to confer upon any licensee any immunity from the antitrust laws or from a charge of patent misuse, and the acquisition and use of rights pursuant to this part shall not be immunized from the operation of state or federal law by reason of the source of the grant.

§746.3   Delegation of authority.

The Chief of Naval Research is delegated the authority to administer the patent licensing program, with the authority to redelegate such authority.

§746.4   Definitions.

(a) Government invention means an invention covered by a domestic patent or patent application that is vested in the United States and in the custody of the Department of the Navy, and is designated by the Chief of Naval Research as appropriate for the grant of an express non-exclusive or exclusive license.

(b) To the point of practical application means to manufacture in the case of a composition or product, to practice in the case of a process, or to operate in the case of a machine, under such conditions as to establish that the invention is being worked and that its benefits are reasonably accessible to the public.

§746.5   Government inventions available for licensing.

Government inventions normally will be made available for the granting of express nonexclusive or limited exclusive licenses to responsible applicants according to the factors and conditions set forth in §§746.6 and 746.7, subject to the applicable procedures of §746.11. The Chief of Naval Research may remove a prior designation of availability for licensing of any patent(s) or patent application(s), provided that no outstanding licenses to that invention are in effect.

§746.6   Nonexclusive license.

(a) Availability of licenses. Each government invention normally shall be made available for the granting of nonexclusive revocable licenses, subject to the provisions of any other licenses, including those under §746.8.

(b) Terms of grant. (1) The duration of the license shall be for a period as specified in the license agreement, provided that the licensee complies with all the terms of the license.

(2) The license shall require the licensees to bring the invention to the point of practical application within a period specified in the license, or such extended period as may be agreed upon, and to contine to make the benefits of the invention reasonably accessible to the public.

(3) The license may be granted for all or less than all fields of use of the invention, and throughout the United States of America, its territories and possessions, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, or in any lesser geographic portion thereof.

(4) After termination of a period specified in the license agreement, the Chief of Naval Research may restrict the license to the fields of use and/or geographic areas in which the licensee has brought the invention to the point of practical application and continues to make the benefits of the invention reasonably accessible to the public.

(5) The license may extend to subsidiaries and affiliates of the licensee but shall be nonassignable without approval of the Chief of Naval Research, except to the successor of that part of the licensee's business to which the invention pertains.

(6) The Government shall make no representation or warranty as to the validity of any licensed application(s) or patent(s), or of the scope of any of the claims contained therein, or that the exercise of the license will not result in the infringement of any other patent(s), nor shall the Government assume any liability whatsoever resulting from the exercise of the license.

§746.7   Limited exclusive license.

(a) Availability of licenses. Each government invention may be made available for the granting of a limited exclusive license, provided that:

(1) The invention has been published as available for licensing pursuant to paragraph (a) of §746.11 for a period of at least six months;

(2) The Chief of Naval Research has determined that:

(i) The invention may be brought to the point of practical application in certain fields of use and/or in certain geographical locations by exclusive licensing;

(ii) The desired practical application has not been achieved under any nonexclusive license granted on the invention; and

(iii) The desired practical application is not likely to be achieved expeditiously in the public interest under a nonexclusive license or as a result of further government-funded research or development;

(3) The notice of the prospective licensee has been published, pursuant to paragraph (d) of §746.11 for at least 60 days; and

(4) After termination of the period set forth in paragraph (a)(3) of §746.7 the Chief of Naval Research has determined that no applicant for a nonexclusive license has brought or will bring, within a reasonable period, the invention to the point of practical application, as specified in the exclusive license, and that to grant the exclusive license would be in the public interest.

(b) Selection of exclusive licensee. An exclusive licensee will be selected on bases consistent with the policy set forth in §746.2 and in accordance with the procedures set forth in §746.11.

(c) Terms of grant. (1) The license may be granted for all or less than all fields of use of the government invention, and throughout the United States of America, its territories and possessions, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, or in any lesser geographic portion thereof.

(2) Subject to the rights reserved to the Government in paragraphs (c)(6) and (c)(7) of §746.7, the licensee shall be granted the exclusive right to practice the invention in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the license.

(3) The duration of the license shall be negotiated but shall be for a period less than the terminal portion of the patent, the period remaining being sufficient to make the invention reasonably available for the grant of a nonexclusive license; and such period of exclusivity shall not exceed 5 years unless the Chief of Naval Research determines, on the basis of a written submission supported by a factual showing, that a longer period is reasonably necessary to permit the licensee to enter the market and recoup his reasonable costs in so doing.

(4) The license shall require the licensee to bring the invention to the point of practical application within a period specified in the license, or within a longer period as approved by the Chief of Naval Research, and to continue to make the benefits of the invention reasonably accessible to the public.

(5) The license shall require the licensee to expend a specified minimum amount of money and/or take other specified actions, within a specified period of time after the effective date of the license, in an effort to bring the invention to the point of practical application.

(6) The license shall be subject to the irrevocable, royalty-free right of the Government of the United States to practice and have practiced the invention throughout the world, by or on behalf of the Government of the United States, and by or on behalf of any foreign government or intergovernmental organization pursuant to any existing or future treaty or agreement with the United states. If the Chief of Naval Research finds it to be in the public interest, this license may also be expressly subject to this same royalty-free right by or on behalf of state and municipal governments.

(7) The license shall reserve to the Chief of Naval Research the right to require the licensee to grant sublicenses to responsible applicants on terms that are reasonable in the circumstances:

(i) The extent that the invention is required for public use by government regulations, or

(ii) As may be necessary to fulfill health or safety needs, or

(iii) For other public purposes stipulated in the license.

(8) The license may extend to subsidiaries and affiliates of the licensee but shall be nonassignable without approval of the Chief of Naval Research, except to successors of that part of the licensee's business to which the invention pertains.

(9) An exclusive licensee may grant sublicenses under his license, subject to the approval of the Chief of Naval Research. Each sublicense granted by an exclusive licensee shall make reference to the exclusive license, including the rights retained by the Government under the exclusive license, and a copy of such sublicense shall be furnished to the Chief of Naval Research.

(10) The license may be subject to such other terms as may be in the public interest.

(11) The Government shall make no representation or warranty as to validity of any licensed application(s) or patent(s), or of the scope of any of the claims contained therein, or that the exercise of the license will not result in the infringement of any other patent(s), nor shall the Government assume any liability whatsoever resulting from the exercise of the license.

§746.8   Additional licenses.

Subject to any outstanding licenses, nothing in this part shall preclude the Chief of Naval Research from granting additional nonexclusive or limited exclusive licenses for government inventions when he determines that to do so would provide for an equitable exchange of patent rights. The following exemplify circumstances wherein such licenses may be granted:

(a) In consideration of the settlement of an interference;

(b) In consideration of a release of a claim of infringement; or

(c) In exchange for, or as part of, the consideration for a license under adversely held patents.

§746.9   Royalties.

(a) Nonexclusive license. Normally, royalties shall not be changed under nonexclusive licenses granted to United States citizens and United States corporations on government inventions; however, the Chief of Naval Research may require other consideration.

(b) Limited exclusive license. A limited exclusive license on a government invention shall contain a royalty provision and/or other consideration flowing to the Government.

§746.10   Reports.

A license shall require the licensee to submit periodic reports on his efforts to achieve practical application of the invention. The reports shall contain information within his knowledge, or which he may acquire under normal business practices, pertaining to the commercial use being made of the invention, and other information which the Chief of Naval Research may determine is pertinent to its licensing activities and is specified in the license.

§746.11   Procedures.

(a) Publication requirements. The Chief of Naval Research shall cause to be published in the Federal Register, the Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and at least one other publication that the Chief of Naval Research deems would best serve the public interest, a list of the government inventions available for licensing under the conditions specified in this part. The list shall be revised periodically to include directly, or by reference to a previously published list, all inventions currently available for licensing. Other publications on inventions available for licensing are encouraged, and may include abstracts, when appropriate, as well as information on the design, construction, use, and potential market for the inventions.

(b) Contents of a nonexclusive license application. An application for a nonexclusive license under a government invention should be addressed to the Chief of Naval Research (Code 300), Arlington, VA 22217, and shall include:

(1) Identification of the invention for which the license is desired, including the patent application serial number or patent number, title, and date, if known, and any other identification of the invention;

(2) Name and address of the person, company, or organization applying for the license, and whether the applicant is a United States citizen or a United States corporation;

(3) Name and address of the representative of applicant to whom correspondence should be sent;

(4) Nature and type of applicant's business;

(5) Source of information concerning the availability of a license on this invention;

(6) Purpose for which the license is desired and a brief description of applicant's plan to achieve that purpose;

(7) A statement of the fields of use for which applicant intends to practice the invention; and

(8) A statement as to the geographic areas in which the applicant would practice the invention.

(c) Contents of an exclusive license application. An application for an exclusive license should be addressed to the Chief of Naval Research (Code 300), Arlington, VA 22217, and, in addition to the information indicated in paragraph (b) of §746.11, an application for an exclusive license shall include:

(1) Applicant's status, if any, in any one or more of the following categor- ies:

(i) Small business firm;

(ii) Minority business enterprise;

(iii) Location in a surplus labor area;

(iv) Location in a low-income area; and

(v) Location in an economically depressed area;

(2) A statement of applicant's capability to undertake the development and marketing required to achieve the practical application of the invention;

(3) A statement describing the time, expenditure, and other acts which the applicant considers necessary to achieve practical application of the invention and the applicant's offer to invest that sum to perform such acts if the license is granted;

(4) A statement that contains the applicant's best knowledge of the extent to which the government invention is being practiced by private industry and the Government;

(5) Identification of other exclusive licenses granted to applicant under inventions in the custody of other government agencies; and

(6) Any other facts which the applicant believes are evidence that it is in the public interest for the Chief of Naval Research to grant an exclusive license rather than a nonexclusive license, and that such exclusive license should be granted to the applicant.

(d) Published notices. (1) A notice that a prospective exclusive licensee has been selected shall be published in the Federal Register, and a copy of the notice shall be sent to the Attorney General. The notice shall include:

(i) Identification of the invention;

(ii) Identification of the selected licensee;

(iii) Duration and scope of the contemplated license; and

(iv) A statement to the effect that the license will be granted unless:

(A) An application for a nonexclusive license, submitted by a responsible applicant pursuant to paragraph (b) of §746.11, is received by the Chief of Naval Research within 60 days from the publication of the notice in the Federal Register, and the Chief of Naval Research determines in accordance with his prescribed procedures, under which procedures the Chief of Naval Research shall record and make available for public inspection all decisions made pursuant thereto and the basis therefore, that the applicant has established that he has already achieved or is likely to bring the invention to the point of practical application withing a reasonable period under a nonexclusive license; or

(B) The Chief of Naval Research determines that third party has presented evidence and argument which has established that it would not be in the public interest to grant the exclusive license.

(2) If an exclusive license has been granted pursuant to this part, notice thereof shall be published in the Federal Register. Such notice shall include:

(i) Identification of the invention;

(ii) Identification of the licensee; and

(iii) Duration and scope of the license.

(3) If an exclusive license has been modified or revoked pursuant to paragraph (e) §746.11, notice thereof shall be published in the Federal Register. Such notice shall include:

(i) Identification of the invention;

(ii) Identification of the licensee; and

(iii) Effective date of the modification or revocation.

(e) Modification or revocation. (1) Any license granted pursuant to this part may be modified or revoked by the Chief of Naval Research if the licensee at any time defaults in making any report required by the license or commits any breach of covenant or agreement therein contained.

(2) A license may also be revoked by the Chief of Naval Research if the licensee willfully makes a false statement of material fact or willfully omits a material fact in the license application or any report required in the license agreement.

(3) Before modifying or revoking any license granted pursuant to this part for any cause, the Chief of Naval Research shall furnish the licensee and any sublicensee of record a written notice of intention to modify or revoke the license, and the licensee and any sublicensee shall be allowed 30 days after such notice to remedy any breach of any covenant or agreement as referred to in paragraph (e)(1) of §746.11, or to show cause why the license should not be modified or revoked.

(f) Appeals. An applicant for a license, a licensee, or such other third party who has participated under paragraph (d)(1)(iv)(B) of §746.11 shall have the right to appeal, in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Chief of Naval Research, any decision concerning the granting, denial, interpretation, modification, or revocation of a license.

§746.12   Litigation.

The property interest in a patent is the right to exclude. It is not the intent of the Government to transfer the property right in a patent when a license is issued pursuant to this part. Accordingly, the right to sue for infringement shall be retained with respect to all licenses so issued by the Government.

§746.13   Transfer of custody of Government inventions.

The Chief of Naval Research may enter into an agreement to transfer custody of a Government invention to another government agency for purposes of administration, including the granting of licenses pursuant to this part.



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