Robert Huffman Quoted by Bloomberg BNA on DOD’s Change to COTS Weapons Rule

Akin Gump litigation partner Robert Huffman was quoted in Bloomberg BNA’s Federal Contracts Report in the article “COTS Weapons Rule Softens Burden for Contractors” regarding a change by the Defense Department that will expand the assumption that a commercial item on major weapons systems has been developed entirely at private expense.

The article reports that contract officers could previously demand technical data relating to a major system unless there was proof that the item at issue was not paid for with government funding. The only way proof was not required, the article says, was for commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) items that had not been modified for military use.

Speaking about the change, Huffman said contractors will still have to demonstrate that modifications to COTS items were either minor or of a type that is typical in the market. “It reduces the burdensome recordkeeping and compliance burdens of dealing with the government and protecting your intellectual property at the same time,” he said. “Contractors don't want to give up proprietary data.”