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Intellectual Property in Government Contracts: Data Rights (& Wrongs)

May 29 @ 9:00 am - May 30 @ 4:00 pm




The Government’s and contractors’ respective rights in intellectual property (IP) arising from government contracts is very important to both sides.  For contractors, IP rights may be critical for the very survival of the company.  For Government agencies, IP rights may have a great impact on the cost and time to accomplish an agency’s mission.

“Rights in data” is an unusually complex area, but one that is essential to learn.  Not the least of the difficulties is that different agencies apply different rules.  Nevertheless, the government contractor that fails to learn to protect its rights in data may be crippled – or worse – by its ignorance.

This program will provide you with the practical tools to analyze and solve data rights issues.  You will learn the categories of rights the Government may obtain in patents and in deliverable technical data and computer software under DoD’s regulations versus the (different) civilian agency regulations and the rules of when the Government vs. contractor obtains different rights in data, and how a contractor must mark legends on deliverable data.  Finally, you will learn how to apply these rules in different real-life situations, such as parts replicators, technology innovators with R&D contracts, SBIR contractors, subcontractors, commercial software vendors, software developers, and software resellers and value added resellers (VARs).


This course is highly relevant to inside counsel, contract administrators, program managers, and engineering staff.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the categories of rights contractors and the Government obtain in data delivered under Government contracts.
  • Important contractor strategies for IP protection to employ before signing a contract.
  • How to review an RFP/contract to identify significant data rights issues.
  • How to protect commercial software marketed to the Government.
  • How to avoid landmines (such as legending requirements) that can result in forfeiture of data rights.
  • Understand who owns rights when a contractor invents a patentable invention while performing a Government contract.

Continuing Education Credits

11.0 CLE/1.1 CEU/13.0 CPE credits may be earned for this course. This course is recommended for 16.0 CLP credits.

This course has been approved for CLE in CA, PA, VA and TX.  Because this activity has been approved in another CLE jurisdiction, you may also receive credit for participation in AK, AZ, AR, CO, FL, HI, IL, ME, MT, NJ, NY, ND, and WI (additional state requirements may apply). If you are seeking CLE credits for a jurisdiction other than the ones listed above, please contact us for additional information.

This course can be submitted to Project Management Institute (PMI) for PDU.  Upon their approval, it may be worth 11.0 PDU credits.



John Plinke


Nash & Cibinic Center for Excellence in Government Contracting
1725 I (Eye) Street NW, Suite 100 (Farragut Metro)
Washington, DC 20006 United States
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The Public Contracting Institute is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org.

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