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Patricia O'Connell
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Nicole Owren-Wiest Discusses Defense Department’s New Intellectual Property Guidelines

August 29, 2014

Nicole J. Owren-Wiest, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Government Contracts Practice, was quoted yesterday in a Law360 article about new intellectual property guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Defense.  The guidelines press contracting officers to negotiate options for intellectual property and technical data at the start of a contract competition, rather than arguing over those issues after the agency has fully invested in a new technology, according to the article.

“It certainly could change some of the dynamics and the leverage points, moving those decisions earlier in the procurement process, and I think the guidelines acknowledge that,” Ms. Owren-Wiest said.  She added that the early negotiations could benefit both the government and its contractors by setting out clear expectations.

“It’s better to be really clear about what expectations are and what the requirements are going to be from the very beginning,” Ms. Owren-Wiest said.  “I think that mitigates the potential for disputes.”