On New Year's Eve, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which included Section 815 that addressed several revisions to the rights the Government obtains in technical data and computer software developed by government contractors and subcontractors when performing their contracts.
The regulations to implement the statute are being drafted and an interim regulation may be issued as early as mid-March 2012.
In addition to the Department of Defense ("DoD"), the Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence agencies also apply the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement ("DFARS") provisions and clauses relating to technical data and computer software.
Unfortunately, Congress has given the DoD direction to revise its regulations at least annually for the past four years, making it difficult for government contractors to put in place policies that can be relied upon to produce the expected result.
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