What is Background Intellectual Property?

Background Intellectual Property is a product’s IPR that is needed to produce the result of a contract (e.g. another product or a service), but which is not created under this contract (instead, it has been created prior to or during execution of the contract).

The access to a background IPR product not created under ESA contract shall be granted for ESA use

  1. free of charge (in fully funded contracts; for partially funded contracts the access is granted on favorable conditions to the contractor), and
  2. fully, but only for the use under the new ESA contract and not for any other purpose.
  3. If a 3rd party requires the use of the background IPR protected product, to modify/use it in another ESA contract, the license has to be granted but it can be at market rates.

Please refer to the General Clauses and Conditions for ESA Contracts (ESA/REG/002 rev. 3) for the complete definition of Background Intellectual Property rights.