2-14.1 The Postal Service’s Motivation on Data Rights and Intellectual Property

The following are reasons for the Postal Service’s purchase of intellectual property:

The main motivation of the purchase/SCM team when dealing with data rights and intellectual property is to yield a net benefit to the Postal Service. The purchase/SCM team must give full consideration to the costs and benefits of the chosen approach. For example, decisions to acquire Postal Service title to patents or unlimited rights to technical data developed by the supplier at private expense must take into account the potential impact on the cost of the contract and the extent to which prospective providers may not wish to part with such rights. Conversely, the purchase/SCM team’s determinations to take lesser rights must consider the effect on the Postal Service of the exploitation of those rights by the supplier or others. As stated in Provision 8-1: Alternate Intellectual Property Rights Proposals, the contracting officer will consider alternate intellectual property rights proposals when determining which supplier’s proposal is most favorable to the Postal Service, in accordance with the solicitation’s evaluation and award section.

Pursuant to Provision 8-1: Alternate Intellectual Property Rights Proposals, the supplier may propose alternate intellectual property rights arrangements (including licensing arrangements for commercial exploitation of intellectual property developed under the contract), provided that it follows guidelines addressed in the provision.

The Postal Service acquires patent rights, rights in data, and rights in software to the degree necessary to protect its interests. Those rights can include:

Clarifying data rights and intellectual property informs the Postal Service of which suppliers can and will comply with their policies. It also allows the purchase/SCM team to start a dialogue with possible suppliers to negotiate acceptable terms in regard to proprietary information. This will allow the contract to be negotiated in a timely manner.