REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama –
The employees of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command work every day to support the unit’s mission and enhance the capabilities of the Army’s warfighters.
Michael Gray, an AMCOM patent attorney, has been working in the intellectual property division for almost 17 years.
Gray’s responsibilities cover numerous areas such as data rights, writing and reviewing cooperative research and development agreements, and creating and maintaining a patent docketing system for case identification that determines then actions are due.
There are many other areas that Gray covers to ensure that AMCOM intellectual property is protected and properly documented.
Recently Gray worked to narrow issues in a pending ASBCA case concerning the government’s rights in technical data pertaining to a major weapon system.
“Approximately 75% of my time involves working on data rights issues,” said Gray. “When I give data rights presentations, I try to make the point that our job (those in legal, contracting and the respective project offices) involves a focus and objective of keeping the shirt on Uncle Sam and not only keeping his shirt on, but making sure he is well dressed at the most affordable cost.”
“As an example, if the Army entered a contract requiring a contractor to develop, produce and deliver four different shirt styles for Uncle Sam and the Army paid for at least some of the development efforts for the new shirts, the Army would want to make sure that it required the contractor to deliver the sewing patterns (i.e., the technical data) for those shirt styles as well,” said Gray.” “As a result, the Army (the Government) would obtain at least government purpose rights to the sewing patterns which would henceforth allow the Army to give the sewing patterns to other contractors (or tailors) for purposes of making and delivering the shirts to Uncle Sam. “
Gray went on to state that in the above example, getting delivery of the sewing patterns with at least government purpose allows the Army to provide the sewing patterns to any number of shirt contractors, thereby creating a competitive environment that results in Uncle Sam being fashionably dressed at a competitive price for future shirt requirements.
According to Gray, with government purpose rights the government can allow other contractors to use, modify, reproduce, release, perform, display or disclose the applicable technical data and software for government purposes provided a non-disclosure is signed.
Working daily to ensure the intellectual property and the rights of the Army are protected is the driving force behind Gray’s work.
“At the end of a given day, part of the job satisfaction and continued motivation for working data rights issues results from the realization that your efforts, in coordination with the efforts of other team members, have a substantial impact on reducing the Army’s life-cycle costs and saving taxpayer dollars,” said Gray.