U.S. Geological Survey
The Department of the Interior is eager to take every opportunity to cooperate with private parties in exploring fields of technology of particular interest to the Government. However, for the mutual benefit of all concerned, it has found certain precautions necessary in accepting unsolicited disclosures. Scientific and engineering research and development sponsored by the Department has given rise to numerous ideas which are being or have been worked on by the Government or its contractors. It is quite possible that some of the ideas and the results of such efforts might be similar to your proposal. Hence, in order to avoid any possible future confusion between your ideas and Government ideas, and to prevent any misunderstanding as to what rights and obligations are undertaken in this matter, the Department policy as to considering your disclosure is set forth below:
1. The Department will not disclose your idea to others without your permission except to the extent necessary for purposes of evaluation. Any such disclosure will contain the requirement that it not be revealed to others. However, the Government cannot be held liable for any unauthorized disclosure.
2. A full written disclosure, and a sketch or drawing (which need not be anything but a rough one provided it illustrates the idea so one skilled in the art can understand it), must be furnished to the Department so that it may determine whether or not it will be interested therein. If available, a patent application and drawing are preferred.
3. The Department cannot ordinarily return any descriptions, drawings, or other disclosures sent to it. Accordingly, you should keep a duplicate of any disclosure sent to the Department.
4. The Department is not under any obligation to reveal to you information of its own not generally available to the public in the general or specific field to which the disclosure relates.
5. To safeguard your interests, you should have the copy of your drawings and disclosures which you retain signed, dated and witnessed. Filing a patent application is strongly urged.
6. Any disclosure to the Department is made on the
understanding (a) that it assumes no obligation to do more than consider the
disclosure to the extent, in its judgment, the disclosure merits, (b) to
indicate whether or not it is interested, and (c) that you rely only on your
rights under the patent laws and that no agreement to compensate you is entered
into by reason of the Department considering your disclosure.
Contact for more information: Scott Morton
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