Government Purpose Rights in Technical Data and Software Developed with DOD Funding

When you develop technical data or software, in whole or in part, with government funding, it is important to know the scope of data rights that the government will obtain at the outset, both with respect to components that were developed solely at private expense and those that were developed with government funding. However, because technical data and software are often developed with multiple funding sources and are continually updated and improved, it can be difficult to determine these data . . . Read More

Third-Party Data-Rights Restrictions: Non-Conforming Legend? Not a Problem

In federal contracting, the laws and regulations surrounding data rights and intellectual property (IP) rights can instill fear in many companies, especially small businesses. A misstep could have you assigning unlimited rights or even ownership of your IP to the federal government. For a broader explanation of some of the challenges government contractors face, please check out our earlier blogs here and here . Generally, to ensure protection of its rights vis-à-vis the federal government, a contractor must include an applicable legend . . . Read More

BLOG: Raytheon Challenges CO Intellectual Property Decision in COFC

In a recent Court of Federal Claims (COFC) case, [1] Raytheon Corporation (Raytheon) challenged a federal agency order that a Government Purpose Right (GPR) legend be affixed to documents purportedly containing technical data. COFC held that the contracting officer’s (CO) decision that the documents contained technical data and the CO order to affix a GPR legend constituted a claim under COFC jurisdiction.This demonstrates that government contractors may challenge similar intellectual property disputes in COFC, despite an adverse final decision from a . . . Read More

Cybersecurity Update—Round II

As part of our continuing effort to keep you updated with new developments relating to compliance with the Department of Defense (DoD) Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 252.204-7012, this blog post provides a link to the long-anticipated template for a system security plan (SSP) and other key information related to implementation of the security controls set forth in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171. Template for SSP The Computer Security Resource Center portion of . . . Read More

HUBZone Definition of “Employee” Not So Black-and-White

In a recent decision, HUBZone Appeal of Q Services, Inc., the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) clarified that the number of hours worked by a person does not bar SBA from examining the totality of the circumstances to determine whether that individual qualifies as an employee for HUBZone program eligibility purposes. Under SBA’s HUBZone regulations, if a person works a minimum of 40 hours per month (whether employed on a full-time, part-time, or other basis), that individual will be treated as . . . Read More

Happy Cybersecurity New Year

After the ball drops in Times Square this New Year’s Eve, many DoD contractors will wake up with a headache. And we don’t mean from too much champagne. We are talking about extensive DoD cybersecurity requirements these contractors must implement by December 31, 2017. Take this blog and call your PilieroMazza lawyer in the morning.   The 12/31/17 deadline has been known since last year and many contractors are surely ahead of the curve. But if you find yourself doing . . . Read More

What’s in a name? Alleviating Confusion About Trademarks

“You ask, ‘What’s in a name?’ I answer, ‘Just about everything you do.’” – Morris Mandel The name of your company is important. It is the proper noun that identifies the company. It is the official name under which the company does business. The company has built its brand under that name. To protect the reputation or goodwill that you have built in the public under the company’s name you should consider seeking federal trademark registration. A federally registered mark affords . . . Read More

Non-Commercial Computer Software Rights and Government Misconceptions About What It Buys

This article is the third installment in a series on Data Rights in Federal Contracts. We first  wrote about what data rights were ; then  about technical data and how to protect it ; and now we will discuss ownership, license rights, and the protection of rights in non-commercial computer software. Because non-commercial computer software is treated like non-commercial data under the FAR (a topic discussed at length in the prior installment of this series), we will focus now on how non-commercial software is treated under the DFARS. That said, the general principles discussed . . . Read More

How the New Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 Impacts Government Contractors

By Kimi Murakami The overwhelming bipartisan passage by both the House and Senate of the new Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”) which was signed into law (18 U.S.C. §§ 1831-1839) by the president on May 11, 2016, marks not only an unusual display of political unity in Washington, but also presents an ideal moment for federal government contractors to assess and update their policies and procedures relating to trade secrets. To make sure you are ready for the . . . Read More

What is Technical Data and How Do You Protect It

This article is the second installment in a series on Data Rights in Federal Contracts. We first  wrote about what data rights were . In this second installment, we will discuss the first contractor-produced item in which the government often takes rights that extend long after contract close-out: “non-commercial technical data.” Technical data, as defined by the FAR, is “recorded information (regardless of the form or method of the recording) of a scientific or technical nature (including computer databases and computer software documentation).” See FAR 52.227-14; DFARS 252.227-7013. . . . Read More