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  • Question

    The US government must store both product and process data for AM to inform standards and make quality parts. Importantly, as to further explore the AM technology, reproducing, restoring, and improving parts already in the inventory will need to evolve. Who would be the best point of contact to discuss legal issues surrounding Intellectual Property as it relates to printing parts for equipment the Army has already purchased? Secondly, who would best know how to amend future contract language to include data rights for post production parts printing?


    Answer

    The short answer is there isn't a specific office that has developed policy on this topic. The contract is the ultimate arbiter of this issue. AM is a process. Just like casting, forging, milling, etc. If we have rights to produce a part then it needs to be determined whether those rights only apply to a specific process. If they don't we should be able to use whatever process we want to make the part. Keep in mind that for some parts you will have to recertify the part if you change the manufacturing process.
     
    By the way, I'm not a lawyer. This needs to be run by your General Counsel.


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