Doing business with the government presents special challenges for aerospace, defense, and government services (“ADG”) contractors seeking to protect their intellectual property (“IP”).
In recent years, procuring agencies have been facing pressure to obtain more government contractor IP and data rights—both to reduce lifecycle acquisition costs and facilitate future competition. Our ADG IP team has partnered for years with contractors working to navigate this complex and technical area, maximizing the value of their IP assets.
How We Can Help
With a rare combination of technical knowledge and fluency with the statutes and regulations impacting government contracts IP, Blank Rome’s team works with leading defense, software, and technology companies to develop and implement solutions to complex government contracts IP matters. From patenting to reporting and marking requirements, we help contractors develop and implement IP protection strategies and resolve disputes arising in the award or performance of government contracts and government-funded programs. Our work leverages our broad experience in IP litigation, strategy, and prosecution, as well as counseling, opinion work, asset development, and threat management.
What Sets Us Apart
Blank Rome maintains a nationally recognized Government Contracts practice that represents contractors in all aspects of federal, state, and local procurement law—from contract formation through close-out. Our clients span the industry, from companies new to the public sector to those in the Fortune 500; they include leaders in the defense, professional services, information technology, maritime, aviation, healthcare, energy, and construction sectors.
Our practice is widely recognized for our success in helping contractors resolve their most significant government contracts matters, including bid protests, claims, dispute resolution and litigation, government audits and investigations, False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases, mandatory disclosure issues, suspension and debarment, small business programs, and complex regulatory matters.
Representative examples of our experience successfully handling government contracts IP and data rights disputes include:
- Representing contractors in data rights disputes with the government, including responding to government challenges of contractor data rights assertions.
- Representing clients in inter partes reviews (“IPR”), including defending a government contractor’s patents relating to mobile robotic vehicles against two IPR petitions. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied institution of both IPRs.
- Representing both plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes trade secret, unfair competition, breach of contract, and breach of confidence disputes. We have substantial experience counseling clients throughout the United States under the different state laws relating to trade secret protection.
- Litigating Section 1498 patent infringement cases arising out of the performance of government contracts at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. In one of these cases, we successfully represented a major contractor whose patent was being infringed in the performance of a government contract, and in so doing refuted the government’s claim that the contractor had waived its patent rights.
- Representing government contractors as defendants (or third-party defendants) in patent infringement cases involving their performance of government contracts. In one of these matters, we obtained dismissal of a patent infringement suit brought in Federal District Court that sought to enjoin our client from performing a government contract.
- Negotiating and preparing software licenses to be used in federal and state government contracts, and in related agreements such as subcontracts, teaming agreements, and joint venture agreements.
- Negotiating and preparing manufacturing and technical assistance agreements to facilitate performance of government contracts.
- Counseling government contractors on IP and data rights issues arising in the submission of proposals. Our work has involved legal strategies for responding to increasingly frequent government requests for technical data packages that provide the government greater data rights than it is entitled to under applicable law.
- Counseling clients on protecting patent rights when inventions may take place during the performance of government contracts or government funded programs, such as Cooperative Research and Development Agreements.
- Supporting due diligence of government contracts IP and data rights issues in acquisitions of government contractors.