§ 435.36. Intangible property.

(a) Copyright. The recipient may copyright any work that is subject to copyright and was developed, or for which ownership was purchased, under an award. SSA reserves a royalty-free, nonexclusive and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the work for Federal purposes, and to authorize others to do so.

(b) Patents and inventions. Recipients are subject to applicable regulations governing patents and inventions, including government-wide regulations issued by the Department of Commerce at 37 CFR part 401, “Rights to Inventions Made by Nonprofit Organizations and Small Business Firms Under Government Grants, Contracts and Cooperative Agreements.”

(c) Rights of Federal Government. The Federal Government has the right to:

(1) Obtain, reproduce, publish or otherwise use the data first produced under an award; and

(2) Authorize others to receive, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use such data for Federal purposes.

(d) FOIA requests for research data. (1) In addition, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for research data relating to published research findings produced under an award that were used by the Federal Government in developing an agency action that has the force and effect of law, SSA shall request, and the recipient shall provide, within a reasonable time, the research data so that they can be made available to the public through the procedures established under the FOIA. If SSA obtains the research data solely in response to a FOIA request, SSA may charge the requester a reasonable fee equaling the full incremental cost of obtaining the research data. This fee should reflect costs incurred by SSA, the recipient, and applicable subrecipients. This fee is in addition to any fees SSA may assess under the FOIA (5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)).

(2) The following definitions apply for purposes of this paragraph (d):

(i) Research data is defined as the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings, but not any of the following: preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, or communications with colleagues. This “recorded” material excludes physical objects (e.g., laboratory samples). Research data also do not include:

(A) Trade secrets, commercial information, materials necessary to be held confidential by a researcher until they are published, or similar information which is protected under law; and

(B) Personnel and medical information and similar information the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, such as information that could be used to identify a particular person in a research study.

(ii) Published is defined as either when:

(A) Research findings are published in a peer-reviewed scientific or technical journal; or

(B) A Federal agency publicly and officially cites the research findings in support of an agency action that has the force and effect of law.

(iii) Used by the Federal Government in developing an agency action that has the force and effect of law is defined as when an agency publicly and officially cites the research findings in support of an agency action that has the force and effect of law.

(e) Title to intangible property and debt instruments. Title to intangible property and debt instruments acquired under an award or subaward vests upon acquisition in the recipient. The recipient must use that property for the originally-authorized purpose, and the recipient may not encumber the property without approval of SSA. When no longer needed for the originally authorized purpose, disposition of the intangible property will occur in accordance with the provisions of § 435.34(g).