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Definition Edit

Data rights is

a shorthand way to refer to the Government's license rights in two major categories of valuable intellectual property:

Only under very unique circumstances does the Government acquire title to or ownership of technical data or computer software developed under DoD contracts — even if the Government funded 100% of the development. Instead, the Government acquires a license to use, release, or disclose that technical data or computer software to persons who are not Government employees. Therefore, the DoD negotiates over license rights and not ownership of technical data or computer software to be delivered under a contract.[1]

Overview Edit

Data rights for technical data and computer software fall into eight categories:

When analyzing data rights issues, it is important to first identify precisely the item, component, or process underlying the data delivered to the Government. This discipline is particularly important and helpful when mixed Government and private funding are involved in the development. For example, a particular item, component, or process may have been developed originally at private expense. Subsequently, an addition to that item, component, or process may have been directly financed by the Government. Correctly analyzed, the contractor should be able to retain proprietary rights (i.e., delivering data with limited rights) in the underlying item, component, or process while delivering to the Government unlimited rights in the additions. This break-out or segregation of items, components, or processes developed at private expense from related items, components, or processes developed with Government funding is sometimes referred to as the doctrine of "segregability." DFARS directs that the source of funds determination be made at any practical sub-item or subcomponent level or any segregable portion of a process.

With data rights, it's important to consider a proper balance between the Government and the contractor. Few issues strike at the core of contractor profitability as much as do those related to rights in technical data and computer software. The competitive advantage represented by technical know-how, trade secrets, or unique designs is translatable directly into profits. Contractors go to great lengths to protect whatever competitive advantage is attained. In Government contracting, competitive advantage can easily evolve into sole-source monopoly. Contractor ownership of critical technology, manufacturing techniques, or cost-saving procedures can eliminate effective competition. The balancing of a contractor's rights in valuable technology and know-how and the Government's need to obtain effective competition in its procurement is governed, in large part, by the DFARS clauses. These regulations, and the contract clauses they prescribe, provide a mechanism by which a proper balance may be struck.[7]

References Edit

  1. Defense Acquisition University, ACQuipedia, Data Rights (full-text).
  2. DFARS §§252.227-7013(a)(16), 252.227-7014(a)(16).
  3. DFARS §§252.227-7013(a)(13), 252.227-7014(a)(12).
  4. DFARS §252.227-7013(a)(14).
  5. DFARS §252.227- 7014(a)(15).
  6. DFARS §§252.227-7013(b)(4), 252.227-7014(b)(4).
  7. Id.

See also Edit

External links Edit

U.S. government contracting (military):

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