Commercial and Intellectual Property
The Commercial and Intellectual Property Law Practice Group is responsible for providing legal advice in support of NASA's commercial, commercialization and intellectual property related programs. The Practice Group provides functional leadership in negotiating, drafting, and interpreting NASA Space Act Agreements, and partnering arrangements with commercial organizations. It also develops, coordinates, implements, and administers NASA's Intellectual Property Program, and provides functional leadership to all Offices of Chief Counsel at NASA Centers in the areas of patents, copyrights, trade secrets, technical data in contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and the distribution of computer software. The Practice Group also provides legal advice and counsel involving issues related to commercialization of NASA activities, and coordinates such matters in the international arena with the International Law Practice Group.
Space Act Agreements are authorized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Act of 1958, a Federal statute. The Practice Group has primary responsibility for the NASA policy implementing this unique authority, as well as for maintenance of the NASA Space Act Agreements Manual. Space Act Agreements include mutually beneficial activities that further NASA missions where there are no exchange of funds ("non-reimbursable" agreements) or undertakings for the benefit of the non-NASA party, and where NASA costs are borne by the non-NASA party ("reimbursable" agreements).
The Intellectual Property division of the Practice Group performs under the direct cognizance of the Agency Counsel for Intellectual Property. It provides functional guidance with respect to patent solicitation to ensure application of uniform criteria Agency-wide relative to invention reporting, patent application preparation, and filing and conduct of proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In addition, the division develops and supports the implementation of policies and procedures related to patent and copyright licensing so that uniform criteria are applied NASA-wide and to ensure the maximum beneficial use of patented and copyrighted technology. The Intellectual Property division supports Department of Justice litigation efforts, licensing, handling infringement-related administrative claims, review of Freedom of Information Act requests concerning technical data and computer software, trademark applications, and handles negotiation and review of intellectual property provisions for Space Act Agreements.
Associate General Counsel
Agency Lead IP Attorney
Mark P. Dvorscak
OGC Disclaimer: The materials within this website do not constitute legal advice. For details read our disclaimer.
National and Commercial Space Programs
Public Law 111-314 -- ENACTMENT OF TITLE 51 (Dec. 18, 2010)
Space Act Agreements
› NPD 1050.1I -- Authority to Enter into Space Act Agreements
› Space Act Agreements Guide Feb. 25, 2013 (pdf)
› SAAG Ch. 5 Pending Update