Proposed STTR Policy Directive 2003
Section by Section Analysis
Section 8 - Terms of Agreement Under STTR Awards
Section 8 of the proposed Policy Directive sets forth the terms of agreement under STTR awards. The Reauthorization Act specifically requires SBA to clarify the rights in data that apply in Phases I, II, and III. Thus, in section 8(b), SBA proposes clarification that agencies are required by statute to protect STTR data rights developed from Phases I, II, and III awards, including subcontracts to such awards, for a period of at least 4 years from the last deliverable under that award. In addition, SBA proposes a provision that agencies can not condition a Phase III award on a concern giving up its STTR data rights. Likewise, the proposed Policy Directive clarifies that STTR data rights can not be negotiated or diminished by the funding agency. Further, the proposed Policy Directive prohibits the negotiation for STTR data rights before awarding an STTR funding agreement. SBA proposes that negotiations with the STTR awardee regarding intellectual property rights must be via a separate agreement, made without pressure or coercion by the agency or any other party.
SBA added clarifying sentences to section 8(b)(2) of the Policy Directive that state: ``For example, if a Phase III award is issued within or after the Phase II data rights protection period and the Phase III award refers to and protects data developed and protected under the Phase II award, then that data must continue to be protected through the Phase III protection period. Agencies have discretion to adopt a protection period longer than 4 years. The government retains a royalty-free license for government use of any technical data delivered under an STTR award, whether patented or not. This section does not apply to program evaluation.''
SBA also proposes clarifying that any data developed under a Phase III funding agreement must be protected by STTR data rights. Any data developed under Phase I, II, or III continues to be protected for a period of at least 4 years from delivery of the last deliverable under that award. The Policy Directive clarifies that although agencies are released from obligation to protect STTR data upon expiration of the protection period, any such data that is also protected and referenced under a subsequent STTR award agreement must remain protected through the protection period of that subsequent STTR award agreement. For example, if a Phase III award that is issued within the Phase II data rights protection period refers to and protects the data developed and protected under the Phase II award, then that data must continue to be protected through the Phase III protection period.