Government Contracts DoD Seeks Input on SBA Research and Technology Programs
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Thursday, October 8, 2020

DoD Seeks Input on SBA Research and Technology Programs

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

A Department of Defense advance notice of proposed rulemaking (85 FR 53758) requests information to assist in developing a Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement revision to implement the data rights portions of the Small Business Innovation Research Program and Small Business Technology Transfer Program Policy Directives. The SBIR and STTR programs are governed by 15 USC 638, which includes specialized coverage regarding intellectual property developed under those programs. More specifically, the law requires that the SBIR and STTR program policy directives allow a small business concern to “[retain] the rights to data generated by the concern in the performance of an SBIR [or STTR] award for a period of not less than 4 years” (see 15 USC 638(j)(1)(B)(v), (j)(2)(A), and (p)(2)(B)(v)). The final Policy Directive includes several revisions affecting the data rights coverage, which require corresponding revisions to the DFARS. For example, the new Policy Directive establishes a single, nonextendable, 20-year SBIR/STTR data protection period, rather than a 4-year period that can be extended indefinitely; grants the government licensed use for government purposes after the expiration of the SBIR/STTR data protection period, rather than unlimited rights; and establishes or revises several important definitions to harmonize the terminology used in the Policy Directive and the FAR and DFARS implementations, while allowing for agency-specific requirements. An initial draft of the proposed DFARS revisions is available in the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Interested parties should submit written comments, identified by DFARS Case 2019–D043, by October 30, 2020.

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