U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Aug 15, 2022

§ 7.1 - Purpose.

Provisions defining the right, title, and interest of the Government in and to an invention made by a Government employee under various circumstances and the duties of Government agencies with respect thereto are set forth in Executive Order 10096, 15 FR 389, as amended (35 U.S.C. 266 note). Further definition of the circumstances under which the Government will acquire the right to a patent in such an invention or a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license in the invention, and the procedures for the determination of these interests, are set forth in the regulations issued under that Executive order by the Patent Office, 37 CFR part 100. The purpose of this part 7 is to implement for the Treasury Department the foregoing Executive order and regulations of the Patent Office by (a) bringing to the attention of Treasury employees the law and procedure governing their rights to, and interest in, inventions made by them, (b) defining responsibility within the Department for making the necessary determinations, and, (c) establishing internal procedures for action in conformity with the Executive order and the Patent Office regulations.

§ 7.2 - Responsibilities of the Department.

The responsibilities of the Treasury Department are to determine initially (a) the occurrence of an invention by an employee, (b) his rights in the invention and the rights of the Government therein, and (c) whether patent protection will be sought in the United States by the Department, and to furnish the required reports to the Patent Office.

§ 7.3 - Responsibilities of heads of offices.

(a) Heads of bureaus or offices in the Department shall be responsible for determining initially whether the results of research, development, or other activity of an employee within that bureau or office constitute an invention which falls within the purview of Executive Order 10096, as amended, and is to be handled in accordance with the regulations in this part.

(b) Heads of bureaus or offices are responsible for obtaining from the employee the necessary information and, if the determination under paragraph (a) of this section is affirmative, preparing on behalf of the bureau or office a description of the invention and its relationship to the employee's duties and work assignments.

(c) Heads of bureaus or offices, after such examination and investigation as may be necessary, shall refer to the General Counsel all information obtained concerning the invention and such determination as the head of the bureau or office has made with respect to the character of the activity as an invention. These reports shall include any determination as to the giving of a cash award to the employee for his performance relating to that invention.

§ 7.4 - Responsibilities of the General Counsel.

(a) The General Counsel shall be responsible for determining, subject to review by the Commissioner of Patents, the respective rights of the Government and of the inventor in and to any invention made by an employee of the Department.

(b) On the basis of the foregoing determination, the General Counsel shall determine whether patent protection will be sought by the Department for such an invention.

(c) The General Counsel will prepare and furnish to the Patent Office the reports required by the regulations of that Office and will serve as the liaison officer between the Department and the Commissioner of Patents.

§ 7.5 - Responsibilities of employees.

All employees are required to report to the heads of their bureaus or offices any result of research, development, or other activity on their part which may constitute an invention and the circumstances under which this possible invention came into being.

§ 7.6 - Effect of awards.

The acceptance by an employee of a cash award for performance which constitutes an invention shall, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 4502(c), constitute an agreement that the use by the Government of the idea, method, or device for which the award is made does not form the basis of any further claim against the Government by the employee, his heirs or assigns.

§ 7.7 - Appeals.

(a) Any employee who is aggrieved by a determination made by the head of his bureau or office under this part may obtain a review of the determination by filing an appeal with the General Counsel within 30 days after receiving the notice of the determination complained of.

(b) Any employee who is aggrieved by a determination made by the General Counsel under this part may obtain a review of the determination by filing a written appeal with the Commissioner of Patents within 30 days after receiving notice of the determination complained of, or within such longer period as the Commissioner may provide. The appeal to the Commissioner shall be processed in accordance with the provisions in the regulations of the Patent Office for an appeal from an agency determination.

§ 7.8 - Delegation.

The heads of bureaus or offices and the General Counsel may delegate, as appropriate, the performance of the responsibilities assigned to them under this part.