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Office for Sponsored Research. We promote, facilitate and enhance research. Industry Contract Negotiations for Engineering and the Physical and Biomedical Sciences OSR Brownbag Presentation Norris University Center May 13, 2009 David E. Kaplan Brian Mitchell Warshawsky

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office for sponsored research

Office for Sponsored Research

We promote, facilitate and enhance research


Industry Contract Negotiations

for Engineering and the Physical and Biomedical Sciences

OSR Brownbag Presentation

Norris University Center

May 13, 2009

David E. Kaplan

Brian Mitchell Warshawsky

Office for Sponsored Research

  • Provide an overview of University contract principles
  • Highlight concerns raised by Industry contracts
  • Share solutions

Brian Mitchell Warshawsky

Senior Contracting Officer

David E. Kaplan

Senior Contract & Grant Officer

Both have legal training and years of experience in drafting, reviewing, and negotiating all types of industry agreements

department misconceptions
Department Misconceptions
  • Contracts, Gifts, and Grants, are all the same
  • The project begins when the PI is informed by the sponsor – “Congratulations, you’re getting the money”
  • It’s impolite to win an award, and then want to negotiate the terms
  • It’s proper to sign a blank contract
  • There are no formal proposal submission processes for Industry

Why we work with Industry

proposal overview
Proposal Overview

Same procedures apply …

  • OSR-1
  • Cover Letter
  • Scope of Work
  • Budget (with non-federal F&A rate)
  • … and draft agreement

…Hidden Restrictions

why a contract is not a gift or a grant
Why a contract is not a gift or a grant.
  • A contract is a legally binding agreement, negotiated at arm’s length, usually with the benefit of review as to legal form by representatives with legal training, and executed by authorized officials of the parties
  • Has binding terms and conditions including SOW, price, term, deliverables, IP rights, etc.
  • While a gift is unrestricted, and a grant has certain governing conditions (as in NGA), contract is binding and enforceable in a court of competent jurisdiction until it expires or is terminated (or beyond)
  • Industrial sponsors typically use their boilerplate agreements and NU marks them up (“redlining”)
  • Sponsor agreements are usually drafted by their in-house or outside counsel and can run dozens of pages
  • The more complicated the draft agreement the longer the process
  • Where possible we use NU’s standard research agreement
clauses of concern
Clauses of Concern
  • Confidentiality
  • Ownership of IP
  • Indemnity
  • Restrictions

- Access

- Publications

  • Industry vs. Federal Flow through
  • Warranties/Reperformance of the work at our expense
  • Stop Work Order
  • Other Clauses
industry misconceptions
Industry Misconceptions
  • “We Paid for it, we own it”
  • PI’s have authority to contractually bind the university
  • “Acme State University signed our agreement without changes so NU should too”
  • We can give the PI a gift and still own all the IP
  • Overhead rates can be determined by PI’s
  • All research results must be confidential in perpetuity to protect us from competitors
  • The PI and the company have reached agreement—why is OSR “holding up the process”?
  • Research results are not confidential
  • Sponsor must designate and identify confidential information in writing
  • Contract must include exceptions to confidentiality
  • Confidentiality must have limited survival; for instance, 3 years from disclosure or end of agreement
ownership of ip
Ownership of IP
  • Ownership follows inventorship in accordance with US patent law
  • We can give sponsor time-limited exclusive option to elect royalty-bearing license and then negotiate terms of that license
  • Royalty rates cannot be determined in advance but will be negotiated in good faith
  • Sponsor to pay patenting costs
  • We cannot assign ownership of inventions to sponsor
  • Sponsor should indemnify NU for Sponsor’s use of research data
  • Each party to assume risks of personal injury and property damage stemming from its own fault (negligent acts and omissions)
  • If NU indemnifies Sponsor, then indemnity should be mutual and tied to fault of indemnifying party
  • We should not be issuing blanket indemnity to an industrial sponsor
  • Foreign national restrictions are not acceptable
  • Publication is the essence of academic research
  • We must have right to publish to fulfill our mission, and to meet policy and legal requirements
  • Sponsor may review planned publication or presentation 30 days in advance for review and comment, and to identify confidential material
  • Up to 60 additional days to permit filing of a patent application
industry vs federal flow through
Industry vs. Federal Flow Through
  • If industry is funding with its own money then it can draft its own terms (subject to applicable laws and to negotiation by NU)
  • Industry must flow down mandatory rights and obligations from federal prime agreements
  • Most federal clauses are FAR and DFARS
warranties reperformance stop work order
Warranties/Reperformance/Stop Work Order
  • NU is not a commercial entity and does not make commercial warranties
  • Company terms often include an array of warranties
  • Companies make warranties as commercial inducements but they are inappropriate for us
  • Re-performance is an unfunded obligation and should be stricken
  • Stop work order should be reduced from 90 days to 30 days
special cases
Special Cases
  • Federal Flow-through
  • Purchase Orders
  •  Export Control
  • UBIT / Work For Hire
what should i do if contacted by industry
What should I do if contacted by Industry?
  • If the subject is a potential contract, please contact one of the CGO’s or the GCO handling your department
  • Licensing and other tech transfer matters (other than sponsored research) are handled by TTP
  • Gifts are handled by OCR
  • OSR Website:

  • Industry Guide:

  • Patent and Invention Policy:



David E. Kaplan

Office for Sponsored Research


Brian Mitchell Warshawsky

Office for Sponsored Research