The Agile Contractor Guide to DoD Data Rights

Briefing Papers

Agile software development is the current dogma for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) software procurements and by 2018 nearly all DoD software development projects were declared to be “agile.” Agile software development breaks development into smaller segments of working functionality, which are iteratively provided to DoD users for feedback. However, this iterative user feedback can lead to providing proprietary software to the DoD without clarity as to the DoD’s license right. Contractors and the DoD should mitigate this uncertainty or no man’s land of license rights through use of an access agreement or Agile license agreement.

While the method the DoD uses to develop software has changed, the need for contractors to understand the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) computer software regulations has not. Contractors that wish to grow and protect their DoD business must understand how the DFARS regulations apply to Agile software development to protect their proprietary software while also providing essential capability to their DoD customers. This BRIEFING PAPER provides a basic background on Agile software development, a primer on the DFARS licensing regulations, and then pre-award and post-award tips for protecting proprietary software when performing Agile software development.

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“The Agile Contractor Guide to DoD Data Rights,” by David L. Bodner was published in the November 2022 edition of Briefing Papers, a Thomson Reuters publication. Reprinted with permission.