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Protecting IP in Contracts with the U.S. Government: The Minotaur in the Regulatory Maze (5.10.11)

When commercial companies start to contract with the U.S. Government, they often are unfamiliar with the standardized clauses that prime contracts and subcontracts contain as required by the applicable Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and some of the agency-specific regulations, such as the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement (DFARS).  As a result, such companies are often unaware of the substantial risks to their intellectual property that may arise under FAR and DFARS contract clauses that address the rights that the U.S. Government may obtain in a prime and subcontractor’s patents, copyrighted works, and proprietary technical data.  This program will discuss the significance of the major FAR and DFARS contract clauses that appear in contracts awarded by the U.S. Government and that may create risks to a contractor’s intellectual property, and will then review the IP decisions that a contractor faces when it enters into a U.S. Government contract and the obligations that it incurs that can affect the extent to which it may retain rights in its IP or relinquish some of them to the U.S. Government.  The program will draw examples from three industries that receive substantial Government contracts: computer software/IT, health care and defense/aerospace.  The program will enable participants to recognize the IP risks that client may face when they enter into U.S. Government contracts and demonstrate best practice strategies that government contractors may use in order to avert or minimize those risks.  The program will also consider the implications of the currently proposed revision of the DFARS sections on intellectual property (the first major revision since 1995) and the issues raised by the U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2010 grant of certiorari in Stanford v. RocheRead more