§401.7 Small business preference.
(a) Paragraph (k)(4) of the clauses at § Implements the small business preference requirement of 35 U.S.C. 202(c)(7)(D). Contractors are expected to use efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to attract small business licensees. They are also expected to give small business firms that meet the standard outlined in the clause a preference over other applicants for licenses. What constitutes reasonable efforts to attract small business licensees will vary with the circumstances and the nature, duration, and expense of efforts needed to bring the invention to the ple, to prevent nonprofit organizations from providing larger firms with a right of first refusal or other options in inventions that relate to research being supported under long-term or other arrangements with larger companies. Under such circumstances it would not be resonable to seek and to give a preference to small business licensees.
(b) Small business firms that believe a nonprofit organization is not meeting its obligations under the clause may report their concerns to the funding agency identified at §(l), and following receipt of the funding agency’s initial response to their concerns or, if no initial funding agency response is received within 90 days from the date their concerns were reported to the funding agency, may thereafter report their concerns, together with any response from the funding agency, to the Secretary. To the extent deemed appropriate, the Secretary, in consultation with the funding agency, will undertake informal investigation of the concern, and, if appropriate, enter into discussions or negotiations with the nonprofit organization to the end of improving its efforts in meeting its obligations under the clause. However, in no event will the Secretary intervene in ongoing negotiations or contractor decisions concerning the licensing of a specific subject invention. All investigations, discussions, and negotiations of the Secretary described in this paragraph (b) will be in coordination with other interested agencies, including the funding agency and the Small Business Administration. In the case of a contract for the operation of a government-owned, contractor operated research or production facility, the Secretary will coordinate with the agency responsible for the facility prior to any discussions or negotiations with the contractor.
(a) Paragraph (h) of the clauses at § and its counterpart in the clause at Attachment A to OMB Circular A-124 provides that agencies have the right to receive periodic reports from the contractor on utilization of inventions. Agencies exercising this right should accept such information, to the extent feasible, in the format that the contractor normally prepares it for its own internal purposes. The prescription of forms should be avoided. However, any forms or standard questionnaires that are adopted by an agency for this purpose must comply with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act. Copies shall be sent to the Secretary.
(b) In accordance with 35 U.S.C. 202(c)(5) and the terms of the clauses at §, agencies shall not disclose such information to persons outside the government. Contractors will continue to provide confidential markings to help prevent inadvertent release outside the agency.
§401.9 Retention of rights by contractor employee inventor.
Agencies which allow an employee/inventor of the contractor to retain rights to a subject invention made under a funding agreement with a small business firm or nonprofit organization contractor, as authorized by 35 U.S.C. 202(d), will impose upon the inventor at least those conditions that would apply to a small business firm contractor under paragraphs (d)(1) and (3); (f)(4); (h); (i); and (j) of the clause at §.
§ Government assignment to contractor of rights in invention of government employee.
(a) In any case when a Federal employee is a co-inventor of any invention made under a funding agreement with a contractor: