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On May 13, 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will publish an interim final rule establishing the Emergency Management Priorities and Allocation System (EMPAS) pursuant to Title I of the Defense Production Act (DPA). As drafted, EMPAS will apply beyond the current COVID-19 context and will become part of the Federal Priority and Allocations

On March 23, 2020, the President signed an “Executive Order on Preventing Hoarding of Health and Medical Resources to Respond to the Spread of COVID-19” delegating additional authorities under the Defense Production Act of 1950 (“DPA”), which builds on Executive Order (EO) No. 13909, issued March 18, 2020, which we discussed here.

On March 18, 2020, President Trump significantly expanded the authority delegated to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in his “Executive Order on Prioritizing and Allocating Health and Medical Resources to Respond to the Spread of Covid-19.” The Order is based on a finding that, “to ensure that our healthcare system

On June 27, 2018, in Appeal of CiyaSoft Corporation, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals held that the Government can be bound by terms of a commercial software license agreement that the contracting officer (CO) has neither negotiated nor seen.  CiyaSoft Corporation (CiyaSoft) submitted a claim asserting that the Army had breached its contract to purchase computer software by using more copies of the software than were permitted by the contract.  The Army denied the claim, in part, because the contract contained no terms specifying how the government would secure and protect the software.  Instead, CiyaSoft had included license terms limiting the software’s use (i) inside the box containing the CDs with the software, (ii) on a piece of paper inside the software’s shrinkwrap, and (iii) in clickwrap that was displayed during the software’s installation process.  On appeal, the Board found that although the contract included no license terms and the CO never saw or discussed with CiyaSoft the license terms that accompanied the software delivery, the CO had a duty to inquire about what use rights applied to the software and the failure to do so imputed knowledge of the licensing terms on the Army.  Pointing to the longstanding policy embodied in the FAR that that the government should accept commercial computer license terms that are customarily provided to other purchasers, the Board held that “the government can be bound by the terms of a commercial software license it has neither negotiated nor seen prior to the receipt of the software, so long as the terms are consistent with those customarily provided by the vendor to other purchasers and do not otherwise violate federal law.”
Continue Reading Commercial License Terms May Govern Even Without Contracting Officer Knowledge

On Thursday, December 11 at 1 PM Eastern, join our Crowell & Moring attorneys for a webinar entitled: “Intellectual Property Rules in Government Contracts Legal Update: Know Your Technical Data and Patent Rights.” During this 90-minute webinar, we will provide an overview of the key principles governing the rules and regulations relating to rights in

Last month, the Federal Circuit decided a case over 70 years in the making.  Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and full-scale U.S. entrance into World War II, the government entered into a series of contracts with oil companies to ramp up production of aviation gasoline (“avgas”) desperately needed for the war effort.  But along with increased production came increased waste and toxic byproducts, notably spent alkylation acid and “acid sludge.”  Safe waste disposal could not keep up with production, and much of the waste was eventually dumped at a site in Fullerton, California. 

Until last week, the oil companies were on the hook for the cleanup costs.  Thanks to the Federal Circuit’s recent ruling, though, the government must now reimburse the contractors for their remediation costs.  The discussion below traces the course of the litigation, outlines the Federal Circuit’s legal analysis, and discusses how the decision represents but one potential avenue for U.S. government contractors to recover environmental remediation costs.
Continue Reading Federal Circuit Requires Government to Indemnify Contractors for CERCLA Remediation Costs Based on “Taxes” Provision in WWII Contracts

On Wednesday, April 23rd at 1 PM Eastern, join our government contracts attorneys for a webinar entitled: “Intellectual Property Rules in Government Contracts Legal Update: Know Your Technical Data and Patent Rights.” During this 90-minute webinar, we will provide an overview of the key principles governing the rules and regulations relating to rights in technical

On September 19, 2013, bid protest attorneys Amy O’Sullivan, Jonathan Baker, and Olivia Lynch will once again be teaching the “Bid Protests: Practice, Procedure and Strategy” course for Federal Publications Seminars. This full-day, CLE-eligible, seminar focuses on practice, procedure, and strategy for protests litigated at the agency-level and before the U.S. Government Accountability Office and

Over recent months, NASA’s plan to replace the space shuttle with commercial space lift has encountered some turbulence. Optimists insist that NASA’s transition to commercially-operated manned spaceflight is inevitable given the ingenuity of public private partnerships, the remarkable opportunities for profit, and the lessons of history. While this may be true, the development of a robust, commercially-viable spaceflight industry involves substantial risk and numerous unknowns. This blog explores in broad strokes the current status and the potential future trajectory of the commercial space flight industry.

We invite a dialog from experts, entrepreneurs, “space flight participants,” and the public.
Continue Reading Commercial Space Flight: Recent Turbulence and Promising Future?