The SBA is proposing to change the SBIR and STTR Policy Directives in a series of clarifying amendments that provide a new layer of certainty regarding the future of SBIR contractors' data rights and potential Phase III awards.
SBIR contractors are currently entitled to an "SBIR/STTR protection period" of four years (five years for DoD SBIR contracts) from the last deliverable during which the awardee retains the rights in data. This protection period is extended upon each subsequent related award, which can leave the contractor and the government (and potential acquiring entities) unsure of the actual length of the protection period. To provide clarity around the time period, SBA is proposing an SBIR/STTR protection period of 12 years without extensions. This is a suggested minimum, and agencies would have the discretion to adopt a longer period. Under a proposed fixed period, the value of a SBIR contractor's data is more readily determined without an ever-changing timeframe of data rights.
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