Patent Indemnity

The patent indemnity clause is inserted by the U.S. government in a contract to protect itself from patent infringement lawsuits. If a contractor hired by the government uses a patented technology, this clause makes it legally responsible.

  1. Contractor's Viewpoint

    • A federal contractor can ask for an "authorization and consent" clause by which the government authorizes the contractor to use any patented technology available. The government may do so in the interest of avoiding delays. In this case, the government is responsible for paying patent rights, but the owner of a patent cannot issue an injunction upon the contractor. An injunction can stall the work until the issue is solved.

    Federal Acquisition Regulation

    • The Federal Acquisition Regulation requires government contract officers to guard against patent lawsuits and against construction delays, which are costly. A patent owner can sue depending on the contract language.

    Purpose

    • The FAR regulation avoids costly and time-consuming research by the government of every technology used by a contractor. Unless the government requires a certain technology, the contractor can select a technology that isn't patented or pay to the owner due patent rights.

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