Title 37

SECTION 401.15

401.15 Deferred determinations.

§ 401.15 Deferred determinations.

(a) This section applies to requests for greater rights in subject inventions made by contractors when deferred determination provisions were included in the funding agreement because one of the exceptions at § 401.3(a) was applied, except that the Department of Energy is authorized to process deferred determinations either in accordance with its waiver regulations or this section. A contractor requesting greater rights should include with its request information on its plans and intentions to bring the invention to practical application. Within 90 days after receiving a request and supporting information, or sooner if a statutory bar to patenting is imminent, the agency should seek to make a determination. In any event, if a bar to patenting is imminent, unless the agency plans to file on its own, it shall authorize the contractor to file a patent application pending a determination by the agency. Such a filing shall normally be at the contractor's own risk and expense. However, if the agency subsequently refuses to allow the contractor to retain title and elects to proceed with the patent application under government ownership, it shall reimburse the contractor for the cost of preparing and filing the patent application.

(b) If the circumstances of concerns which originally led the agency to invoke an exception under § 401.3(a) are not applicable to the actual subject invention or are no longer valid because of subsequent events, the agency should allow the contractor to retain title to the invention on the same conditions as would have applied if the standard clause at § 401.14 had been used originally, unless it has been licensed.

(c) If paragraph (b) is not applicable the agency shall make its determination based on an assessment whether its own plans regarding the invention will better promote the policies and objectives of 35 U.S.C. 200 than will contractor ownership of the invention. Moreover, if the agency is concerned only about specific uses or applications of the invention, it shall consider leaving title in the contractor with additional conditions imposed upon the contractor's use of the invention for such applications or with expanded government license rights in such applications.

(d) A determination not to allow the contractor to retain title to a subject invention or to restrict or condition its title with conditions differing from those in the clause at § 401.14, unless made by the head of the agency, shall be appealable by the contractor to an agency official at a level above the person who made the determination. This appeal shall be subject to the procedures applicable to appeals under § 401.11.

[52 FR 8554, Mar. 18, 1987, as amended at 83 FR 15963, Apr. 13, 2018]