Subpart 927.4 - Technical Data and Copyrights
927.400 Scope of subpart.
This subpart sets forth DOE's policy, procedures, and instructions for contract clauses with respect to the acquisition and use of technical data and copyrights in contracts or subcontracts entered into, with or for the benefit of the Government.
927.402 Acquisition and use of technical data.
(a) The provisions herein pertain to research, development, demonstration and supply contracts. Special considerations for contracts for the operation, design, or construction of Government-owned facilities are covered by subpart 970.27. Under DOE's broad charter to perform research, development, and demonstration work, in both nuclear and nonnuclear fields, and to meet the objectives stated in 927.402-2, DOE has extensive needs for technical data. The satisfaction of these needs and the achievement of DOE's objectives through a sound data policy are found in the balancing of the needs and equities of the Government, its contractors, and the general public.
(b) It is important to keep a clear distinction between contract requirements for the delivery of technical data and rights in technical data. The legal rights which the Government acquires in technical data in DOE contracts, other than management and operating contracts (see 48 CFR 970.2704) and other contracts involving the production of data necessary for the management or operation of DOE facilities or a DOE site, are set forth in Rights in Data - General clause at 48 CFR 52.227-14 as modified in accordance with 927.409 of this subpart. In those contracts involving the production of data necessary for the management or operation of DOE facilities or a DOE site, after consultation with Patent Counsel the clause at 48 CFR 970.5227-1 shall be used. However, those clauses do not obtain for the Government delivery of any data whatsoever. Rather, known requirements for the technical data to be delivered by the contractor shall be set forth as part of the contract. The Additional Technical Data Requirements clause at 48 CFR 52.227-16 may be used along with the Rights in Data - General clause to enable the contracting officer to require the contractor to furnish additional technical data, the requirement for which was not known at the time of contracting. There is, however, a built-in limitation on the kind of technical data which a contractor may be required to deliver under either the contract or the Additional Technical Data Requirements clause. This limitation is found in the withholding provision of paragraph (g) of the Rights in Data - General clause at 48 CFR 52.227-14, as amended at 48 CFR 927.409(a), which provides that the Contractor need not furnish limited rights data or restricted computer software. Unless Alternate II or III to the Rights in Data - General clause is used, it is specifically intended that the contractor may withhold limited rights data or restricted computer software even though a requirement for technical data specified in the contract or called for delivery pursuant to the Additional Technical Data Requirements clause would otherwise require the delivery of such data.
(c) In contracts involving access to certain categories of DOE-owned restricted data, as set forth in 10 CFR part 725, DOE has reserved the right to receive reasonable compensation for the use of its inventions and discoveries, including its related data and technology. Accordingly, in contracts where access to such restricted data is to be provided to contractors, the following parenthetical phrase shall be inserted after “contract data” in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of the clause at 952.227-75, after “technical data” in paragraph (b)(2) of the clause at 952.227-77, or after “technical data” in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of the clause at 952.227-78 as appropriate: “(except Restricted Data in category C-24, 10 CFR part 725, in which DOE has reserved the right to receive reasonable compensation for the use of its inventions and discoveries, including related data and technology).” In addition, there are other types of contract situations (e.g., no cost contracts for studies or evaluation) wherein the contractor is given access to restricted data. In such contract situations, limitations on the use of such data may be appropriate.
The technical data policy is directed toward achieving the following objectives:
(a) Making the benefits of the energy research, development and demonstration programs of DOE widely available to the public in the shortest practicable time;
(b) Promoting the commercial utilization of the technology developed under DOE programs;
(c) Encouraging participation by private persons in DOE energy research, development, and demonstration programs; and
(d) Fostering competition and preventing undue market concentration or the creation or maintenance of other situations inconsistent with the antitrust laws.
927.403 Negotiations and deviations.
Contracting officers shall contact Patent Counsel assisting their contracting activity or the Assistant General Counsel for Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property for assistance in selecting, negotiating, or approving appropriate data and copyright clauses in accordance with the procedures set forth in this subpart and 48 CFR 27.4. In particular, contracting officers shall seek the prompt and timely advice of Patent Counsel regarding any situation not in conformance with this subpart and prescribed clauses, including the inclusion or modification of alternate paragraphs of the Rights in Data clause at 48 CFR 52.227-14, as amended at 48 CFR 927.409(a), the exclusion of specific items from said clause, the exclusion of the Additional Technical Data Requirements clause at 48 CFR 52.227-16, and the inclusion of any special provisions in a particular contract.
927.404 Rights in technical data in subcontracts. (DOE coverage - paragraphs (g), (k), (l), and (m))
(g)(4) Contractors are required by paragraph (d)(3) of the clause at FAR 52.227-14, as modified pursuant to 48 CFR 927.409(a)(1), to acquire permission from DOE to assert copyright in any computer software first produced in the performance of the contract. This requirement reflects DOE's established software distribution program, recognized at FAR 27.404(g)(2), and the Department's statutory dissemination obligations. When a contractor requests permission to assert copyright in accordance with paragraph (d)(3) of the Rights in Data - General clause as prescribed for use at 48 CFR 927.409(a)(1), Patent Counsel shall predicate its decision on the considerations reflected in paragraph (e) of the clause at 48 CFR 970.5227-2 Rights in Data - Technology Transfer.
(k) Subcontracts. (1)(i) It is the responsibility of prime contractors and higher tier subcontractors, in meeting their obligations with respect to contract data, to obtain from their subcontractor the rights in, access to, and delivery of such data on behalf of the Government. Accordingly, subject to the policy set forth in this subpart, and subject to the approval of the contracting officer, where required, selection of appropriate technical data provisions for subcontracts is the responsibility of the prime contractors or higher-tier subcontractors. In many, but not all instances, use of the Rights in Technical Data clause of FAR 52.227-14, as modified pursuant to 48 CFR 927.409(a)(1), in a subcontract will provide for sufficient Government rights in and access to technical data. The inspection rights afforded in Alternate V of that clause normally should be obtained only in first-tier subcontracts having as a purpose the conduct of research, development, or demonstration work or the furnishing of supplies for which there are substantial technical data requirements as reflected in the prime contract.
(ii) If a subcontractor refuses to accept technical data provisions affording rights in and access to technical data on behalf of the Government, the contractor shall so inform the contracting officer in writing and not proceed with the award of the subcontract without written authorization of the contracting officer.
(iii) In prime contracts (or higher-tier subcontracts) which contain the Additional Technical Data Requirements clause at FAR 52.227-16, it is the further responsibility of the contractor (or higher-tier subcontractor) to determine whether inclusion of such clause in a subcontract is required to satisfy technical data requirements of the prime contract (or higher-tier subcontract).
(2) As is the case for DOE in its determination of technical data requirements, the Additional Technical Data Requirements clause at FAR 52.227-16 should not be used at any subcontracting tier where the technical data requirements are fully known. Normally, the clause will be used only in subcontracts having as a purpose the conduct of research, development, or demonstration work. Prime contractors and higher-tier subcontractors shall not use their power to award subcontracts as economic leverage to acquire rights in the subcontractor's limited rights data or restricted computer software for their private use, and they shall not acquire rights to limited rights data or restricted computer software on behalf of the Government for standard commercial items without the prior approval of Patent Counsel.
(l) Contractor licensing. In many contracting situations the achievement of DOE's objectives would be frustrated if the Government, at the time of contracting, did not obtain on behalf of responsible third parties and itself limited license rights in and to limited rights data or restricted computer software or both necessary for the practice of subject inventions or data first produced or delivered in the performance of the contract. Where the purpose of the contract is research, development, or demonstration, contracting officers should consult with program officials and Patent Counsel to consider whether such rights should be acquired. No such rights should be obtained from a small business or non-profit organization, unless similar rights in background inventions of the small business or non-profit organization have been authorized in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 202(f). In all cases when the contractor has agreed to include a provision assuring commercial availability of background patents, consideration should be given to securing for the Government and responsible third parties at reasonable royalties and under appropriate restrictions, co-extensive license rights for data which are limited rights data and restricted computer software. When such license rights are deemed necessary, the Rights in Data-General clause at FAR 52.227-14 should be supplemented by the addition of Alternate VI as provided at 48 CFR 952.227-14. Alternate VI will normally be sufficient to cover limited rights data and restricted computer software for items and processes that were used in the contract and are necessary in order to insure widespread commercial use or practical utilization of a subject of the contract. The expression “subject of the contract” is intended to limit the licensing required in Alternate VI to the fields of technology specifically contemplated in the contract effort and may be replaced by a more specific statement of the fields of technology intended to be covered in the manner described in the patent clause at 48 CFR 952.227-13 pertaining to “Background Patents.” Where, however, limited rights data and restricted computer software cover the main purpose or basic technology of the research, development, or demonstration effort of the contract, rather than subcomponents, products, or processes which are ancillary to the contract effort, the limitations set forth in subparagraphs (k)
(1) through (k)(4) of Alternate VI of 48 CFR 952.227-14 should be modified or deleted. Paragraph (k) of 48 CFR 952.227-14 further provides that limited rights data or restricted computer software may be specified in the contract as being excluded from or not subject to the licensing requirements thereof. This exclusion can be implemented by limiting the applicability of the provisions of paragraph (k) of 48 CFR 952.227-14 to only those classes or categories of limited rights data and restricted computer software determined as being essential for licensing. Although contractor licensing may be required under paragraph (k) of 48 CFR 952.227-14, the final resolution of questions regarding the scope of such licenses and the terms thereof, including provisions for confidentiality, and reasonable royalties, is then left to the negotiation of the parties.
(m) Access to restricted data. In contracts involving access to certain categories of DOE-owned Category C-24 restricted data, as set forth in 10 CFR part 725, DOE has reserved the right to receive reasonable compensation for the use of its inventions and discoveries, including its related data and technology. Accordingly, in contracts where access to such restricted data is to be provided to contractors, Alternate VII shall be incorporated into the rights in technical data clause of the contract. In addition, in any other types of contracting situations in which the contractor may be given access to restricted data, appropriate limitations on the use of such data must be specified.
927.404-70 Statutory programs.
Occasionally, Congress enacts legislation that authorizes or requires the Department to protect from public disclosure specific data first produced in the performance of the contract. Examples of such programs are “the Metals Initiative” and section 3001(d) of the Energy Policy Act. In such cases DOE Patent Counsel is responsible for providing the appropriate contractual provisions for protecting the data in accordance with the statute. Generally, such clauses will be based upon the Rights in Data-General clause prescribed for use at 48 CFR 927.409(a) with appropriate modifications to define and protect the “protected data” in accordance with the applicable statute. When contracts under such statutes are to be awarded, contracting officers must acquire from Patent Counsel the appropriate contractual provisions. Additionally, the contracting officer must consult with DOE program personnel and Patent Counsel to identify data first produced in the performance of the contract that will be recognized by the parties as protected data and what data will be made available to the public notwithstanding the statutory authority to withhold the data from public dissemination.
927.408 Cosponsored research and development activities.
Because of the Department of Energy's statutory duties to disseminate data first produced under its contracts for research, development, and demonstration, the provisions of FAR 27.408 do not apply to cosponsored or cost shared contracts.
927.409 Solicitation provisions and contract clauses. (DOE coverage-paragraphs (a), (h), (s), and (t))
(1) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at FAR 52.227-14, Rights in Data-General, substituting the following paragraph (a) and including the following paragraph (d)(3) and Alternate V in solicitations and contracts if it is contemplated that data will be produced, furnished, or acquired under the contract; except contracting officers are authorized to use Alternate IV rather than paragraph (d)(3) in contracts for basic or applied research with educational institutions except where software is specified for delivery or except where other special circumstances exist:
(1) Computer data bases, as used in this clause, means a collection of data in a form capable of, and for the purpose of, being stored in, processed, and operated on by a computer. The term does not include computer software.
(2) Computer software, as used in this clause, means
(i) computer programs which are data comprising a series of instructions, rules, routines, or statements, regardless of the media in which recorded, that allow or cause a computer to perform a specific operation or series of operations and (ii) data comprising source code listings, design details, algorithms, processes, flow charts, formulae, and related material that would enable the computer program to be produced, created, or compiled. The term does not include computer data bases.
(3) Data, as used in this clause, means recorded information, regardless of form or the media on which it may be recorded. The term includes technical data and computer software. For the purposes of this clause, the term does not include data incidental to the administration of this contract, such as financial, administrative, cost and pricing, or management information.
(4) Form, fit, and function data, as used in this clause, means data relating to items, components, or processes that are sufficient to enable physical and functional interchangeability, as well as data identifying source, size, configuration, mating, and attachment characteristics, functional characteristics, and performance requirements; except that for computer software it means data identifying source, functional characteristics, and performance requirements but specifically excludes the source code, algorithm, process, formulae, and flow charts of the software.
(5) Limited rights data, as used in this clause, means data, other than computer software, developed at private expense that embody trade secrets or are commercial or financial and confidential or privileged. The Government's rights to use, duplicate, or disclose limited rights data are as set forth in the Limited Rights Notice of subparagraph (g)(2) of this section if included in this clause.
(6) Restricted computer software, as used in this clause, means computer software developed at private expense and that is a trade secret; is commercial or financial and is confidential or privileged; or is published copyrighted computer software, including minor modifications of any such computer software. The Government's rights to use, duplicate, or disclose restricted computer software are as set forth in the Restricted Rights Notice of subparagraph (g)(3) of this section if included in this clause.
(7) Technical data, as used in this clause, means recorded data, regardless of form or characteristic, that are of a scientific or technical nature. Technical data does not include computer software, but does include manuals and instructional materials and technical data formatted as a computer data base.
(8) Unlimited rights, as used in this clause, means the rights of the Government to use, disclose, reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, including by electronic means, and perform publicly and display publicly, in any manner, including by electronic means, and for any purpose whatsoever, and to have or permit others to do so.
(d)(3) The Contractor agrees not to assert copyright in computer software first produced in the performance of this contract without prior written permission of the DOE Patent Counsel assisting the contracting activity. When such permission is granted, the Patent Counsel shall specify appropriate terms, conditions, and submission requirements to assure utilization, dissemination, and commercialization of the data. The Contractor, when requested, shall promptly deliver to Patent Counsel a duly executed and approved instrument fully confirmatory of all rights to which the Government is entitled.
(2) However, rights in data in these specific situations will be treated as described, where the contract is -
(i) For the production of special works of the type set forth in FAR 27.405(a), but the clause at FAR 52.227-14, Rights in Data-General, shall be included in the contract and made applicable to data other than special works, as appropriate (See paragraph (i) of FAR 27.409);
(ii) For the acquisition of existing data works, as described in FAR 27.405(b) (See paragraph (j) of FAR 27.409);
(iii) To be performed outside the United States, its possessions, and Puerto Rico, in which case agencies may prescribe different clauses (See paragraph (n) of FAR 27.409);
(iv) For architect-engineer services or construction work, in which case contracting officers shall utilize the clause at FAR 52.227-17, Rights in Data-Special Works;
(v) A Small Business Innovation Research contract (See paragraph (l) of FAR 27.409);
(vi) For management and operation of a DOE facility (see 48 CFR 970.2704) or other contracts involving the production of data necessary for the management or operation of DOE facilities or a DOE site, after consultation with Patent Counsel (See 927.402-1(b)); or
(vii) Awarded pursuant to a statute expressly providing authority for the protection of data first produced thereunder from disclosure or dissemination. (See 927.404-70).
(h) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at FAR 52.227-16, Additional Data Requirements, in solicitations and contracts involving experimental, developmental, research, or demonstration work (other than basic or applied research to be performed solely by a university or college where the contract amount will be $500,000 or less) unless all the requirements for data are believed to be known at the time of contracting and specified in the contract. See FAR 27.406(b). This clause may also be used in other contracts when considered appropriate.
(s) Contracting officers shall incorporate the solicitation provision at FAR 52.227-23, Rights to Proposal Data (Technical), in all requests for proposals.
(t) Contracting officers shall include the solicitation provision at 952.227-84 in all solicitations involving research, developmental, or demonstration work.