Army’s IP Strategy Eyes More Selective Acquisition Approach

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The U.S. Army is revamping its strategy for acquiring intellectual property (IP) to meet sustainment goals and use data more efficiently, said Dr. Alexis Lasselle Ross, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Strategy and Acquisition Reform.

Speaking at an event organized by the Center for Strategic & International Studies, Dr. Lasselle Ross explained the Army’s new strategy for IP management, which was signed by Army Secretary Mark T. Esper back in December 2018.

She said that prior to the new policy, obtaining IP had been a combination of two extremes. The military branch would either obtain as much IP as possible – which is costly and difficult to update – or it would refrain from obtaining any IP at all. She said that the Army needs to find a middle ground between the two for its acquisition strategy because acquiring the proper IP is essential to maintenance and upgrading key hardware and software.

For its new strategy on IP management, the Army is working on four things:

  • Developing a custom IP strategy;
  • Negotiating for custom licenses for the appropriate data, not all pieces of data;
  • Negotiating early in the process to get the best and most competitive prices; and
  • Fostering open communication with industry.

The Army also wants to focus on training and education when it comes to IP acquisition because, as Dr. Lasselle Ross points out, not everyone in the service is a licensed patent attorney. Focusing on programs to lead that training, along with culture change from the top down, is something the Army will take into account over time, she said.

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