A survey of landmines that may await you, and an advantageous roadmap to guide you away from danger with sound pointers on how to protect your IP while operating in the government sphere. You’ve just won a government contract under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award for a prototype space widget or new cyber application – great!
Article one, section 8, clause 8 of the United States Constitution states: The Congress shall have power…to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.
The following is a brief summary of the most important issues involved with protecting your copyrights when dealing with the government – specifically the Department of Defense (DoD) – either as a prime or subcontractor.
Protecting intellectual property with patents, trademarks, and copyrights is a crucial component of successful companies. However, many individuals and companies fail to adequately safeguard their intellectual property from unlawful reproduction or outright theft, which can all too often spell the end of a dream and the destruction of a business.
The terms “competitive advantage” and “success” are closely related. Every company strives for a competitive advantage, even if they are not exactly sure what it is. All companies want to be the first to market, or to make a product faster, cheaper, or better than their competitors. If they can do that, they gain a “competitive advantage.”
The Dream Scenario . . .Your small business bid to provide software or technical data was just picked up by a prime contractor (“Big Prime”) on a government contract. You are confident that your intellectual property (“IP”) will lead to wealth and the growth of your company. So you proceed to put pen to paper on a lucrative contract with the government.