BLOG: Raytheon Challenges CO Intellectual Property Decision in COFC

In a recent Court of Federal Claims (COFC) case, [1] Raytheon Corporation (Raytheon) challenged a federal agency order that a Government Purpose Right (GPR) legend be affixed to documents purportedly containing technical data. COFC held that the contracting officer’s (CO) decision that the documents contained technical data and the CO order to affix a GPR legend constituted a claim under COFC jurisdiction.This demonstrates that government contractors may challenge similar intellectual property disputes in COFC, despite an adverse final decision from a . . . Read More

Cybersecurity Update—Round II

As part of our continuing effort to keep you updated with new developments relating to compliance with the Department of Defense (DoD) Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 252.204-7012, this blog post provides a link to the long-anticipated template for a system security plan (SSP) and other key information related to implementation of the security controls set forth in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171. Template for SSP The Computer Security Resource Center portion of . . . Read More

HUBZone Definition of “Employee” Not So Black-and-White

In a recent decision, HUBZone Appeal of Q Services, Inc., the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) clarified that the number of hours worked by a person does not bar SBA from examining the totality of the circumstances to determine whether that individual qualifies as an employee for HUBZone program eligibility purposes. Under SBA’s HUBZone regulations, if a person works a minimum of 40 hours per month (whether employed on a full-time, part-time, or other basis), that individual will be treated as . . . Read More

Happy Cybersecurity New Year

After the ball drops in Times Square this New Year’s Eve, many DoD contractors will wake up with a headache. And we don’t mean from too much champagne. We are talking about extensive DoD cybersecurity requirements these contractors must implement by December 31, 2017. Take this blog and call your PilieroMazza lawyer in the morning.   The 12/31/17 deadline has been known since last year and many contractors are surely ahead of the curve. But if you find yourself doing . . . Read More

What’s in a name? Alleviating Confusion About Trademarks

“You ask, ‘What’s in a name?’ I answer, ‘Just about everything you do.’” – Morris Mandel The name of your company is important. It is the proper noun that identifies the company. It is the official name under which the company does business. The company has built its brand under that name. To protect the reputation or goodwill that you have built in the public under the company’s name you should consider seeking federal trademark registration. A federally registered mark affords . . . Read More

Non-Commercial Computer Software Rights and Government Misconceptions About What It Buys

This article is the third installment in a series on Data Rights in Federal Contracts. We first  wrote about what data rights were ; then  about technical data and how to protect it ; and now we will discuss ownership, license rights, and the protection of rights in non-commercial computer software. Because non-commercial computer software is treated like non-commercial data under the FAR (a topic discussed at length in the prior installment of this series), we will focus now on how non-commercial software is treated under the DFARS. That said, the general principles discussed . . . Read More

How the New Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 Impacts Government Contractors

By Kimi Murakami The overwhelming bipartisan passage by both the House and Senate of the new Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”) which was signed into law (18 U.S.C. §§ 1831-1839) by the president on May 11, 2016, marks not only an unusual display of political unity in Washington, but also presents an ideal moment for federal government contractors to assess and update their policies and procedures relating to trade secrets. To make sure you are ready for the . . . Read More

What is Technical Data and How Do You Protect It

This article is the second installment in a series on Data Rights in Federal Contracts. We first  wrote about what data rights were . In this second installment, we will discuss the first contractor-produced item in which the government often takes rights that extend long after contract close-out: “non-commercial technical data.” Technical data, as defined by the FAR, is “recorded information (regardless of the form or method of the recording) of a scientific or technical nature (including computer databases and computer software documentation).” See FAR 52.227-14; DFARS 252.227-7013. . . . Read More

Data Rights Under Federal Government Contracts: What Are Data rights?

This article is the first installment in a series from PilieroMazza where we will walk through the various data rights clauses in the FAR and DFARS to explain how they are supposed to work, what they mean, and when to know which rules apply to a particular procurement. Data rights under federal government contracts create confusion from both the government and the contractor perspectives. There is substantial misunderstanding as to the purpose of the data rights regulations and the limits . . . Read More

“March-in” Rights – The (Paper) Damoclean Sword of Federal Procurement Patent Law

Given the recent PilieroMazza webinar on Data Rights in federal contracting , we have had a number of clients raise concerns or questions about the government’s “march-in” rights under the Bayh-Dole Act, which controls certain data rights and patent issues under federal contracts. For those of you who do not already know, for patentable items created under federally-funded contracts, the government has the right to force the contractor who holds the patent to issue a license to third parties, including competitors, under certain conditions. As we will see, . . . Read More