Rights in technical data and computer software are increasingly a topic of dispute between contractors and the Government, particularly the Department of Defense (DOD). This is because of three forces: (1) congressional and DOD initiatives to acquire rights in data and software sufficient to implement DOD's modular open systems approach, which is intended to allow DOD to swap one supplier's subsystems with another's; (2) independent, overreaching actions by DOD contracting activities to acquire operation, maintenance, installation, and training data they claim to need for long-term support; and (3) the escalating practice of agencies seeking priced options from contractors to relinquish data rights in exchange for more favorable best value evaluations.

Read Jay DeVecchio's Briefing Papers article to learn more about key data rights clauses and how to effectively understand them.

Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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