Subpart 227.70 - INFRINGEMENT CLAIMS, LICENSES, AND ASSIGNMENTS
This subpart prescribes policy, procedures, and instructions for use of clauses with respect to processing licenses, assignments, and infringement claims.
Whenever a claim of infringement of privately owned rights in patented inventions or copyrighted works is asserted against any Department or Agency of the Department of Defense, all necessary steps shall be taken to investigate, and to settle administratively, deny, or otherwise dispose of such claim prior to suit against the United States. This subpart 227.70 does not apply to licenses or assignments acquired by the Department of Defense under the Patent Rights clauses.
227.7002 Statutes pertaining to administrative claims of infringement.
Statutes pertaining to administrative claims of infringement in the Department of Defense include the following: the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, 22 U.S.C. 2356 (formerly the Mutual Security Acts of 1951 and 1954); the Invention Secrecy Act, 35 U.S.C. 181-188; 10 U.S.C. 3793; 28 U.S.C. 1498; and 35 U.S.C. 286.
227.7003 Claims for copyright infringement.
The procedures set forth herein will be followed, where applicable, in copyright infringement claims.
227.7004 Requirements for filing an administrative claim for patent infringement.
(a) A patent infringement claim for compensation, asserted against the United States under any of the applicable statutes cited in 227.7002 , must be actually communicated to and received by a Department, agency, organization, office, or field establishment within the Department of Defense. Claims must be in writing and should include the following:
(1) An allegation of infringement;
(2) A request for compensation, either expressed or implied;
(3) A citation of the patent or patents alleged to be infringed;
(4) A sufficient designation of the alleged infringing item or process to permit identification, giving the military or commercial designation, if known, to the claimant;
(5) A designation of at least one claim of each patent alleged to be infringed; or
(6) As an alternative to (a)(4) and (5) of this section, a declaration that the claimant has made a bona fide attempt to determine the item or process which is alleged to infringe, but was unable to do so, giving reasons, and stating a reasonable basis for his belief that his patent or patents are being infringed.
(b) In addition to the information listed in (a) above, the following material and information is generally necessary in the course of processing a claim of patent infringement. Claimants are encouraged to furnish this information at the time of filing a claim to permit the most expeditious processing and settlement of the claim.
(1) A copy of the asserted patent(s) and identification of all claims of the patent alleged to be infringed.
(2) Identification of all procurements known to claimant which involve the alleged infringing item or process, including the identity of the vendor or contractor and the Government procuring activity.
(3) A detailed identification of the accused article or process, particularly where the article or process relates to a component or subcomponent of the item procured, an element by element comparison of the representative claims with the accused article or process. If available, this identification should include documentation and drawings to illustrate the accused article or process in suitable detail to enable verification of the infringement comparison.
(4) Names and addresses of all past and present licenses under the patent(s), and copies of all license agreements and releases involving the patent(s).
(5) A brief description of all litigation in which the patent(s) has been or is now involved, and the present status thereof.
(6) A list of all persons to whom notices of infringement have been sent, including all departments and agencies of the Government, and a statement of the ultimate disposition of each.
(7) A description of Government employment or military service, if any, by the inventor and/or patent owner.
(8) A list of all Government contracts under which the inventor, patent owner, or anyone in privity with him performed work relating to the patented subject matter.
(9) Evidence of title to the patent(s) alleged to be infringed or other right to make the claim.
(10) A copy of the Patent Office file of each patent if available to claimant.
(11) Pertinent prior art known to claimant, not contained in the Patent Office file, particularly publications and foreign art.
In addition in the foregoing, if claimant can provide a statement that the investigation may be limited to the specifically identified accused articles or processes, or to a specific procurement, it may materially expedite determination of the claim.
(c) Any department receiving an allegation of patent infringement which meets the requirements of this paragraph shall acknowledge the same and supply the other departments that may have an interest therein with a copy of such communication and the acknowledgement thereof.
(1) For the Department of the Army—Chief, Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks Division, U.S. Army Legal Services Agency;
(2) For the Department of the Navy—the Patent Counsel for Navy, Office of Naval Research;
(3) For the Department of the Air Force—Chief, Patents Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General;
(4) For the Defense Logistics Agency—the Office of Counsel;
(5) For the National Security Agency— the General Counsel;
(6) For the Defense Information Systems Agency—the Counsel;
(7) For the Defense Threat Reduction Agency—the General Counsel; and
(8) For the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency—the Counsel.
(d) If a communication alleging patent infringement is received which does not meet the requirements set forth in paragraph (c) of this section, the sender shall be advised in writing—
(1) That his claim for infringement has not been satisfactorily presented, and
(2) Of the elements considered necessary to establish a claim.
(e) A communication making a proffer of a license in which no infringement is alleged shall not be considered as a claim for infringement.
227.7005 Indirect notice of patent infringement claims.
(a) A communication by a patent owner to a Department of Defense contractor alleging that the contractor has committed acts of infringement in performance of a Government contract shall not be considered a claim within the meaning of 227.7004 until it meets the requirements specified therein.
(b) Any Department receiving an allegation of patent infringement which meets the requirements of 227.7004 shall acknowledge the same and supply the other Departments (see 227.7004 (c)) which may have an interest therein with a copy of such communication and the acknowledgement thereof.
(c) If a communication covering an infringement claim or notice which does not meet the requirements of 227.7004 (a) is received from a contractor, the patent owner shall be advised in writing as covered by the instructions of 227.7004 (d).
227.7006 Investigation and administrative disposition of claims.
An investigation and administrative determination (denial or settlement) of each claim shall be made in accordance with instructions and procedures established by each Department, subject to the following:
(a) When the procurement responsibility for the alleged infringing item or process is assigned to a single Department or only one Department is the purchaser of the alleged infringing item or process, and the funds of that Department only are to be charged in the settlement of the claim, that Department shall have the sole responsibility for the investigation and administrative determination of the claim and for the execution of any agreement in settlement of the claim. Where, however, funds of another Department are to be charged, in whole or in part, the approval of such Department shall be obtained as required by 208.7002 . Any agreement in settlement of the claim, approved pursuant to 208.7002 shall be executed by each of the Departments concerned.
(b) When two or more Departments are the respective purchasers of alleged infringing items or processes and the funds of those Departments are to be charged in the settlement of the claim, the investigation and administrative determination shall be the responsibility of the Department having the predominant financial interest in the claim or of the Department or Departments as jointly agreed upon by the Departments concerned. The Department responsible for negotiation shall, throughout the negotiation, coordinate with the other Departments concerned and keep them advised of the status of the negotiation. Any agreement in the settlement of the claim shall be executed by each Department concerned.
227.7007 Notification and disclosure to claimants.
When a claim is denied, the Department responsible for the administrative determination of the claim shall so notify the claimant or his authorized representative and provide the claimant a reasonable rationale of the basis for denying the claim. Disclosure of information or the rationale referred to above shall be subject to applicable statutes, regulations, and directives pertaining to security, access to official records, and the rights of others.
227.7008 Settlement of indemnified claims.
Settlement of claims involving payment for past infringement shall not be made without the consent of, and equitable contribution by, each indemnifying contractor involved, unless such settlement is determined to be in the best interests of the Government and is coordinated with the Department of Justice with a view to preserving any rights of the Government against the contractors involved. If consent of and equitable contribution by the contractors are obtained, the settlement need not be coordinated with the Department of Justice.
227.7009 Patent releases, license agreements, and assignments.
This section contains clauses for use in patent release and settlement agreements, license agreements, and assignments, executed by the Government, under which the Government acquires rights. Minor modifications of language (e.g., pluralization of “Secretary” or “Contracting Officer”) in multidepartmental agreements may be made if necessary.
227.7009-1 Required clauses.
(a) Covenant Against Contingent Fees. Insert the clause at FAR 52.203-5.
(b) Gratuities. Insert the clause at FAR 52.203-3.
(c) Assignment of Claims. Insert the clause at FAR 52.232-23.
(d) Disputes. Pursuant to FAR Subpart 33.2, insert the clause at FAR 52.233-1.
(e) Non-Estoppel. Insert the clause at 252.227-7000 .
227.7009-2 Clauses to be used when applicable.
(a) Release of past infringement. The clause at 252.227-7001, Release of Past Infringement, is an example which may be modified or omitted as appropriate for particular circumstances, but only upon the advice of cognizant patent or legal counsel. (See footnotes at end of clause.)
(b) Readjustment of payments. The clause at 252.227-7002, Readjustment of Payments, shall be inserted in contracts providing for payment of a running royalty.
(c) Termination. The clause at 252.227-7003, Termination, is an example for use in contracts providing for the payment of a running royalty. This clause may be modified or omitted as appropriate for particular circumstances, but only upon the advice of cognizant patent or legal counsel (see 227.7004(c)).
227.7009-3 Additional clauses—contracts except running royalty contracts.
The following clauses are examples for use in patent release and settlement agreements, and license agreements not providing for payment by the Government of a running royalty.
(a) License Grant. Insert the clause at 252.227-7004 .
(b) License Term. Insert one of the clauses at 252.227-7005 Alternate I or Alternate II, as appropriate.
227.7009-4 Additional clauses—contracts providing for payment of a running royalty.
The clauses set forth below are examples which may be used in patent release and settlement agreements, and license agreements, when it is desired to cover the subject matter thereof and the contract provides for payment of a running royalty.
(a) License grant—running royalty. No Department shall be obligated to pay royalties unless the contract is signed on behalf of such Department. Accordingly, the License Grant clause at 252.227-7006 should be limited to the practice of the invention by or for the signatory Department or Departments.
(b) License term—running royalty. The clause at 252.227-7007 is a sample form for expressing the license term.
(c) Computation of royalties. The clause at 252.227-7008 providing for the computation of royalties, may be of varying scope depending upon the nature of the royalty bearing article, the volume of procurement, and the type of contract pursuant to which the procurement is to be accomplished.
(d) Reporting and payment of royalties.
(1) The contract should contain a provision specifying the office designated within the specific Department involved to make any necessary reports to the contractor of the extent of use of the licensed subject matter by the entire Department, and such office shall be charged with the responsibility of obtaining from all procuring offices of that Department the information necessary to make the required reports and corresponding vouchers necessary to make the required payments. The clause at 252.227-7009 is a sample for expressing reporting and payment of royalties requirements.
(2) Where more than one Department or Government Agency is licensed and there is a ceiling on the royalties payable in any reporting period, the licensing Departments or Agencies shall coordinate with respect to the pro rata share of royalties to be paid by each.
(e) License to other government agencies. When it is intended that a license on the same terms and conditions be available to other departments and agencies of the Government, the clause at 252.227-7010 is an example which may be used.
(a) The clause at 252.227-7011 is an example which may be used in contracts of assignment of patent rights to the Government.
(b) To facilitate proof of contracts of assignments, the acknowledgement of the contractor should be executed before a notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths (35 U.S.C. 261).
227.7011 Procurement of rights in inventions, patents, and copyrights.
Even though no infringement has occurred or been alleged, it is the policy of the Department of Defense to procure rights under patents, patent applications, and copyrights whenever it is in the Government's interest to do so and the desired rights can be obtained at a fair price. The required and suggested clauses at 252.227-7004 and 252.227-7010 shall be required and suggested clauses, respectively, for license agreements and assignments made under this paragraph. The instructions at 227.7010 concerning the applicability and use of those clauses shall be followed insofar as they are pertinent.
227.7012 Contract format.
The format at 252.227-7012 appropriately modified where necessary, may be used for contracts of release, license, or assignment.
Executive Order No. 9424 of 18 February 1944 requires all executive Departments and agencies of the Government to forward through appropriate channels to the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, for recording, all Government interests in patents or applications for patents.