Friday, June 26, 2009

SBIR Patent expenses

I had been under the impression that patent expenses were disallowed under SBIR. The spreadsheet my new accountant has asked me to populate for calculating my overhead rate however included a line item for commercial patent expenses. I was curious, so I did a search for "SBIR patent costs". It turned up the following:

As recommended by the DoD SBIR Process Action Team and approved by the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and Technology), patent searches and applications may be included in the statements of work for Phase II contracts. (Patent searches and applications may be included in the proposed statement of work or as part of indirect cost.) It should be noted that obtaining a patent will probably take a number of years. In the case where a cost reimbursable contract has been awarded for the effort, the contract may need to remain open until the patent is granted in order for the associated cost be recovered. If the statement of work does not contain authorization for the direct charging of patent effort, the Contracting Officer may want to add a clause that the patent cost is an allowable indirect cost. The Government obtains rights to the patent in accordance with 52.227-11, Patent Rights--Retention by the Contractor (Short Form). This clause will assure that the contractor will at least receive partial compensation for the incurred patent cost.

That's a good thing to know. I'll be sure to follow up on it, and ask to include the relevant clause in my contract.

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