Part Number: 352

Health and Human Services Acquisition Regulation

352.227-11 Patent Rights - Exceptional Circumstances.

As prescribed in HHSAR 327.303, the Contracting Officer shall insert the following clause:

Patent Rights - Exceptional Circumstances (SEPT 2014)

This clause applies to all Contractor and subcontractor (at all tiers) Subject Inventions.

(a) Definitions. As used in this clause -

Agency means the Agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that is entering into this contract.

Class 1 Subject Invention means a Subject Invention described and defined in the DEC that will be assigned to a third party assignee, or assigned as directed by the Agency.

Class 2 Subject Invention means a Subject Invention described and defined in the DEC.

Class 3 Subject Invention means a Subject Invention that does not fall into Class 1 or Class 2 as defined in this clause.

DEC means the Determination of Exceptional Circumstances signed by [insert approving official] ________ on ____ [insert date] ________ and titled “[insert description].”

Invention means any invention or discovery, which is or may be patentable or otherwise protectable under Title 35 of United States Code, or any novel variety of plant that is or may be protectable under the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2321, et seq.)

Made means: When used in relation to any invention other than a plant variety, the conception or first actual reduction to practice of such invention; or when used in relation to a plant variety, that the Contractor has at least tentatively determined that the variety has been reproduced with recognized characteristics.

Material means any proprietary material, method, product, composition, compound, or device, whether patented or unpatented, which is provided to the Contractor under this contract.

Nonprofit organization means a university or other institution of higher education or an organization of the type described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (26 U.S.C. 501(c)) and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(a)) or any nonprofit scientific or educational organization qualified under a state nonprofit organization statute.

Practical application means to manufacture, in the case of a composition or product; to practice, in the case of a process or method, or to operate, in the case of a machine or system; and, in each case, under such conditions as to establish that the invention is being utilized and that its benefits are, to the extent permitted by law or Government regulations, available to the public on reasonable terms.

Small business firm means a small business concern as defined at section 2 of Public Law 85-536 (15 U.S.C. 632) and implementing regulations of the Administrator of the Small Business Administration. For the purpose of this clause, the size standards for small business concerns involved in Government procurement and subcontracting at 13 CFR 121.3-8 and 13 CFR 121.3-12, respectively, will be used.

Subject Invention means any invention of the Contractor made in the performance of work under this contract.

Third party assignee means any entity or organization that may, as described in the DEC, be assigned Class 1 inventions.

(b) Allocation of principal rights.

(1) Retention of pre-existing rights. Third party assignees shall retain all preexisting rights to Material in which the Third party assignee has a proprietary interest.

(2) Allocation of Subject Invention rights.

(i) Disposition of Class 1 Subject Inventions. (A) Assignment to the Third party assignee or as directed by the Agency. The Contractor shall assign to the Third party assignee designated by the Agency the entire right, title, and interest throughout the world to each Subject Invention, or otherwise dispose of or transfer those rights as directed by the Agency, except to the extent that rights are retained by the Contractor under paragraph (b)(3) of this clause. Any such assignment or other disposition or transfer of rights will be subject to a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license to the U.S. Government to practice or have practiced the Subject Invention for or on behalf of the U.S. throughout the world. Any assignment shall additionally be subject to the “March-in rights” of 35 U.S.C. 203. If the Contractor is a U.S. nonprofit organization it may retain a royalty free, nonexclusive, nontransferable license to practice the invention for all nonprofit research including for educational purposes, and to permit other U.S. nonprofit organizations to do so.

(B) [Reserved]

(ii) Disposition of Class 2 and 3 Subject Inventions. Class 2 Subject Inventions shall be governed by FAR clause 52.227-11, Patent Rights-Ownership (December 2007) (incorporated herein by reference). However, the Contractor shall grant a license in the Class 2 Subject Inventions to the provider of the Material or other party designated by the Agency as set forth in Alternate I.

(iii) Class 3 Subject Inventions shall be governed by FAR clause 52.227-11, Patent Rights - Ownership by the Contractor (December 2007) (previously incorporated herein by reference).

(3) Greater Rights Determinations. The Contractor, or an employee-inventor after consultation by the Agency with the Contractor, may request greater rights than are provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this clause in accordance with the procedures of FAR paragraph 27.304-1(c). In addition to the considerations set forth in paragraph 27.304-1(c), the Agency may consider whether granting the requested greater rights will interfere with rights of the Government or any Third party assignee or otherwise impede the ability of the Government or the Third party assignee to, for example, develop and commercialize new compounds, dosage forms, therapies, preventative measures, technologies, or other approaches with potential for the diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, and treatment of human diseases.

A request for a determination of whether the Contractor or the employee-inventor is entitled to retain such greater rights must be submitted to the Agency Contracting Officer at the time of the first disclosure of the invention pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this clause, or not later than 8 months thereafter, unless a longer period is authorized in writing by the Contracting Officer for good cause shown in writing by the Contractor. Each determination of greater rights under this contract shall be subject to paragraph (c) of the FAR clause at 52.227-13 (incorporated herein by reference), and to any reservations and conditions deemed to be appropriate by the Agency such as the requirement to assign or exclusively license the rights to Subject Inventions to the Third party assignee.

A determination by the Agency denying a request by the Contractor for greater rights in a Subject Invention may be appealed within 30 days of the date the Contractor is notified of the determination to an Agency official at a level above the individual who made the determination. If greater rights are granted, the Contractor must file a patent application on the invention. Upon request, the Contractor shall provide the filing date, serial number and title, a copy of the patent application (including an English-language version if filed in a language other than English), and patent number and issue date for any Subject Invention in any country for which the Contractor has retained title. Upon request, the Contractor shall furnish the Government an irrevocable power to inspect and make copies of the patent application file.

(c) Invention disclosure by Contractor. The Contractor shall disclose in writing each Subject Invention to the Agency Contracting Officer and to the Director, Division of Extramural Inventions and Technology Resources (DEITR), if directed by the Contracting Officer, as provided in paragraph (j) of this clause within 2 months after the inventor discloses it in writing to Contractor personnel responsible for patent matters. The disclosure to the Agency Contracting Officer shall be in the form of a written report and shall identify the contract under which the invention was Made and all inventors. It shall be sufficiently complete in technical detail to convey a clear understanding to the extent known at the time of the disclosure, of the nature, purpose, operation, and the physical, chemical, biological, or electrical characteristics of the invention. The disclosure shall also identify any publication, on sale (offer for sale), or public use of the invention and whether a manuscript describing the invention has been submitted for publication, and if so, whether it has been accepted for publication at the time of disclosure.

In addition, after disclosure to the Agency, the Contractor will promptly notify the Contracting Officer and DEITR of the acceptance of any manuscript describing the invention for publication or of any on sale or public use planned by the Contractor. If the Contractor assigns a Subject Invention to the Third party assignee, then the Contractor and its employee inventors shall assist the Third party assignee in securing patent protection. All costs of securing the patent, including the cost of the Contractor's assistance, are at the Third party's expense. Any assistance provided by the Contractor and its employee inventors to the Third party assignee or other costs incurred in securing patent protection shall be solely at the Third party's expense and not billable to the contract.

(d) Contractor action to protect the Third party assignee's and the Government's interest.

(1) The Contractor agrees to execute or to have executed and promptly deliver to the Agency all instruments necessary to: Establish or confirm the rights the Government has throughout the world in Subject Inventions pursuant to paragraph (b) of this clause; convey title to a Third party assignee in accordance with paragraph (b) of this clause; and enable the Third party assignee to obtain patent protection throughout the world in that Subject Invention.

(2) The Contractor agrees to require, by written agreement, its employees, other than clerical and nontechnical employees, to disclose promptly in writing to personnel identified as responsible for the administration of patent matters and in a format suggested by the Contractor, each Subject Invention “Made” under contract in order that the Contractor can comply with the disclosure provisions of paragraph (c) of this clause, and to execute all papers necessary to file patent applications on Subject Inventions and to establish the Government's rights or a Third party assignee's rights in the Subject Inventions. This disclosure format should require, as a minimum, the information required by subparagraph (c)(1) of this clause. The Contractor shall instruct such employees, through employee agreements or other suitable educational programs, on the importance of reporting inventions in sufficient time to permit the filing of patent applications prior to U.S. or foreign statutory bars.

(3) If the Contractor is granted greater rights, the Contractor agrees to include, within the specification of any United States non-provisional patent application it files, and any patent issuing thereon, covering a Subject Invention the following statement: “This invention was made with Government support under (identify the Contract) awarded by (identify the specific Agency). The Government has certain rights in the invention.”

(4) The Contractor agrees to provide a final invention statement and certification prior to the closeout of the contract listing all Subject Inventions or stating that there were none.

(e) Subcontracts.

(1) The Contractor will include this clause in all subcontracts, regardless of tier, for experimental, developmental, or research work. At all tiers, the clause must be modified to identify the parties as follows: References to the Government are not changed, and the subcontractor has all rights and obligations of the Contractor in the clause. The Contractor will not, as part of the consideration for awarding the contract, obtain rights in the subcontractor's Subject Inventions.

(2) In subcontracts, at any tier, the Agency, the subcontractor, and the Contractor agree that the mutual obligations of the parties created by this clause constitute a contract between the subcontractor and the Agency with respect to the matters covered by the clause; provided, however, that nothing in this paragraph is intended to confer any jurisdiction under the Contract Disputes Act in connection with proceedings under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of FAR clause 52.227-13.

(f) Reporting on utilization of Subject Inventions in the event greater rights are granted to the Contractor. The Contractor agrees to submit, on request, periodic reports no more frequently than annually on the utilization of a Subject Invention or on efforts at obtaining such utilization that are being made by the Contractor or its licensees or assignees when a request under subparagraph b.3. has been granted by the Agency. Such reports shall include information regarding the status of development, date of first commercial sale or use, gross royalties received by the Contractor, and such other data and information as the Agency may reasonably specify. The Contractor also agrees to provide additional reports as may be requested by the Agency in connection with any march-in proceeding undertaken by the Agency in accordance with paragraph (h) of this clause. As required by 35 U.S.C. 202(c)(5), the Agency agrees it will not disclose such information to persons outside the Government without permission of the Contractor.

(g) Preference for United States industry in the event greater rights are granted to the Contractor. Notwithstanding any other provision of this clause, the Contractor agrees that neither it nor any assignee will grant to any person the exclusive right to use or sell any Subject Invention in the United States unless such person agrees that any product embodying the Subject Invention or produced through the use of the Subject Invention will be manufactured substantially in the United States. However, in individual cases, the requirement for such an agreement may be waived by the Agency upon a showing by the Contractor or its assignee that reasonable but unsuccessful efforts have been made to grant licenses on similar terms to potential licensees that would be likely to manufacture substantially in the United States or that under the circumstances domestic manufacture is not commercially feasible.

(h) March-in rights in the event greater rights are granted to the Contractor. The Contractor acknowledges that, with respect to any Subject Invention in which it has acquired ownership through the exercise of the rights specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this clause, the Agency has the right to require licensing pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 203 and 210(c), and in accordance with the procedures in 37 CFR 401.6 and any supplemental regulations of Agency in effect on the date of contract award.

(i) Special provisions for contracts with nonprofit organizations in the event greater rights are granted to the Contractor. If the Contractor is a nonprofit organization, it shall:

(1) Not assign rights to a Subject Invention in the United States without the written approval of the Agency, except where an assignment is made to an organization that has as one of its primary functions the management of inventions, provided that the assignee shall be subject to the same provisions as the Contractor;

(2) Share royalties collected on a Subject Invention with the inventor, including Federal employee co-inventors (but through their Agency if the Agency deems it appropriate) when the Subject Invention is assigned in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 202(e) and 37 CFR 401.10;

(3) Use the balance of any royalties or income earned by the Contractor with respect to Subject Inventions, after payment of expenses (including payments to inventors) incidental to the administration of Subject Inventions for the support of scientific research or education;

(4) Make efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to attract licensees of Subject Inventions that are small business concerns, and give a preference to a small business concern when licensing a Subject Invention if the Contractor determines that the small business concern has a plan or proposal for marketing the invention which, if executed, is equally as likely to bring the invention to practical application as any plans or proposals from applicants that are not small business concerns; provided, that the Contractor is also satisfied that the small business concern has the capability and resources to carry out its plan or proposal. The decision whether to give a preference in any specific case will be at the discretion of the Contractor; and

(5) Allow the Secretary of Commerce to review the Contractor's licensing program and decisions regarding small business applicants, and negotiate changes to its licensing policies, procedures, or practices with the Secretary of Commerce when the Secretary's review discloses that the Contractor could take reasonable steps to more effectively implement the requirements of paragraph (i)(4) of this clause.

(j) Communications. All invention disclosures and requests for greater rights shall be sent to the Agency Contracting Officer, as directed by the Contracting Officer. Additionally, a copy of all disclosures, confirmatory licenses to the Government, face page of the patent applications, waivers and other routine communications under this funding agreement at all tiers must be sent to:

[Insert Agency Address]

Agency Invention Reporting Web site:

Alternate I (Sept 2014). As prescribed in 327.303, the license to Class 2 inventions recited in 352.227-11(b)(2)(a) is as follows:

[Insert description of license to Class 2 inventions]

(End of clause)